Leading U.S. online safety service expands internationally in support of Online Safety Act of 2021 to help protect more children
ATLANTA, April 12, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Online safety company Bark Technologies today announced its continued international expansion with the launch of its award-winning parental control app in Australia.
Bark is the only comprehensive parental control app that helps families monitor content, manage screen time, block websites and apps, and enable location sharing — all in a single, affordable service.
A leader in the digital safety space in the U.S., Guam, and most recently, South Africa, Bark currently helps protect nearly 6 million children at home and in more than 3,100 schools and districts. Using highly sophisticated artificial intelligence, Bark alerts families to concerning behaviors in a variety of categories, including cyberbullying, depression, suicidal ideation, violence, and online predation. Bark monitors more than 30 of today’s most popular social media platforms and apps, as well as text messages, images, videos, chats, emails, and files. Families also get the ability to create custom screen time schedules, block websites and apps, and receive location alerts when kids are on the go.
The expansion coincides with recent legislation aimed at making the commonwealth’s existing online safety laws more expansive. "Bark’s launch into Australia aligns perfectly with the Online Safety Act of 2021, which strengthens Australia’s commitment to protecting more children from digital dangers," said Skylar Walker, Bark’s senior director of business development. "As we work together and build partnerships with local service providers, we are raising the bar for more comprehensive online safety measures worldwide." Bark plans to build on its presence in Australia and beyond by forging partnerships with ISPs and other service providers who have a vested interest in protecting kids online.
A 2021 study published by Australia’s eSafety Commissioner entitled "Mind the Gap: Parental Awareness of Children’s Exposure to Risks Online" found that significant gaps exist in parental awareness of their children’s online lives, specifically in relation to harmful digital content. Noted findings from the study include:
- Six in ten children have communicated with someone they first met online.
- One in eight children have sent a photo or video of themselves to someone they first met online.
- One in eight children have met someone face-to-face after first getting to know them online.
- Close to half of the surveyed children were treated in a hurtful or nasty way online in the past year, while a quarter of the children had themselves treated someone in a hurtful or nasty way online.
- One in ten children have been the target of hate speech online.
"In addition to bridging the gap when it comes to online safety, we’re proud to provide Australians with the chance to create stronger relationships with their children," said Bark CEO Brian Bason. "With Bark, parents get greater insight into their kids’ digital lives, allowing them to start important conversations and better understand what it’s like growing up in the digital age."
Bark’s community resources also include a best-selling book, Parenting in a Tech World; the honor of being featured in the eye-opening documentary Childhood 2.0; serving as moderator for the Parenting in a Tech World Facebook group with more than 180,000 members; and maintaining an active schedule of educational presentations, including tech nights for parents and online safety trainings worldwide. For more information about Bark’s international partnerships, please email Skylar Walker.
For media inquiries and interview requests, contact [email protected].
Bark helps families manage and protect their children’s digital lives. The award-winning service monitors 30+ of the most popular apps and social media platforms for signs of issues like cyberbullying, suicidal ideation, online predators, threats of violence, and more. Bark’s web filtering and screen time management tools empower families to set healthy limits around the websites and apps their kids can access and when they can visit them. Visit www.bark.us to learn more.