The popularity of social media has enabled people from all around the world to connect. But for all the good it does, social media is full of potential dangers to children. This presents a unique problem for many parents. One way to solve this issue is by using parental control software that concerned parents can employ to regulate and monitor social media use. Two great examples of that are Bark and mSpy. Both monitor activity and notify parents of anything alarming. But while their monitoring capabilities are unmatched, they’re not the cheapest solutions. To help you make sure you choose the right one, we took a closer look at some of the key differences between them.
|Languages||EN||EN, FR, DE, ES, AR, JP|
|Social Media Monitoring|
|Number of Devices||Unlimited||3|
|Free Trial||7 days||7 days|
|Money-Back Guarantee||14 days|
One of the most popular choices for parents since 2015, Georgia-based Bark already protects millions of American children. What makes Bark stand out is that it employs artificial intelligence to monitor and analyze social media activity and alerts parents to signs of cyberbullying, violence, and other serious issues. This is possible because Bark covers an impressive number of social media networks, including Facebook, Snapchat, and TikTok. Whether it’s text, audio, images, or even text taken from images, Bark will be able to pick up on the most subtle clues. You can also change how strict your notifications are, so you don’t get a message every time your kids talk about a fight at school, but you will receive alerts about direct threats of violence.
The best part is that through all of this, Bark is constantly giving you advice on how to use each feature, react to results, and talk with your child – making the app much more than just an extra pair of eyes. Bark is available on a range of devices, including iOS, Android, Chromebook, and Amazon Fire tablets. However, there is no solution for desktop users besides a Google Chrome extension. The price depends on whether you pay monthly or annually, with discounts for the latter. And while it isn’t the cheapest solution on the market, users can test out the service first through the 7-day free trial.
If Bark’s extensive monitoring options don’t go far enough, then mSpy surely has you covered. Created in the UK back in 2010, mSpy has different capabilities depending on how far you want to go. To unlock all the monitoring options, iOS users will need to jailbreak the device first, although Android users experience far fewer issues. And while mSpy’s customer support will help you through the process via the website’s live chat, it still isn’t the easiest parental control software to install. Once installed, mSpy lets you see just about everything on your child’s device like SMS messages, social media posts, and installed apps. You’re even able to view photos and videos saved on the device. Both Bark and mSpy show parents their child’s location, but only mSpy offers geofencing that gives you notifications if a child goes out of bounds.
mSpy works on Android and iOS, but it isn’t available on any other device, so you won’t be able to monitor tablets or desktops. Prices depend on how much monitoring you’ll be doing but for the basic service the cost is exactly the same as Bark. If you want the full range of capabilities, then you can expect to pay double the price. Fortunately, there’s a 7-day free trial to try out the software first to see if it’s worth the extra investment.
If you took just a brief glance at Bark and mSpy you would be forgiven for thinking that they’re very similar parental control tools. However, the more you delve into them, the more obvious it is that they are two very different beasts. Bark is much more conventional parental control software with great social media coverage. Meanwhile, mSpy is a monitoring software first, that just happens to be beneficial to parents. So, while Bark gives you advice on how best to help you and your child deal with social media threats, mSpy encourages you to jailbreak your phone to unlock extra monitoring options. Both come with free trials, allowing you to thoroughly test them out and see which one suits your family the most.
Best Parental Control Software of 2021
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