VPN and what is it?

Hi,

I think my son told me a few times he cant access something on his phone because of VPN. What is this and was this installed on his phone when I installed the BARK app? I think it allows me to see what content he is looking at on his phone but I am just not sure how it go there. Can I still monitor his phone if the VPN is removed? Thanks

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Good morning, Tina! Welcome and thanks for reaching out to Bark’s parenting community. :slight_smile: Happy to offer some insight! On iOS devices specifically, a VPN is installed / enabled when you install the Bark Kids iOS app. This feature allows Bark to enforce screen time and web filtering limits you have set in your account. It also allows Bark to communicate with your son’s device for location check-ins.

If something is blocked that you don’t want blocked, you can investigate by navigating to your Screen Time page on your dashboard. Then, click on the child’s name that is experiencing the block. Lastly, click on Recently blocked activity.

Here are more steps to review for troubleshooting and making adjustments to your parental controls.

iOS monitoring is independent of iOS parental controls with the Bark Kids app; iOS monitoring happens via computer backups. More info on how to monitor your son’s iOS texts, web browsing, emails, and social medias here.

If you have any further questions or need assistance, Bark’s support team is more than happy to further help you! Please reach support by emailing help@bark.us or visiting bark.us/contact any time. I do hope this helps! Thank you! :slight_smile:

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This is very helpful thank you

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You’re welcome! To add clarity, I think I missed your last question. Yes, you can monitor his iPhone without the VPN installed.

Without the Bark Kids app / VPN, you would not be able to utilize screen time / web filtering / check-ins. If those are not a need for you, you technically do not need the Bark Kids app installed. :slight_smile:

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VPN stands for Virtual Private Network. It is a layer of security or encryption on your data. Most data on the internet is not protected or encrypted on http:\. https:\ is encrypted. the ‘s’ stands for Security. Installing a VPN add on encrypts your data on untrusted wifi networks. Hackers use packet sniffers to collect network traffic and then filter using keywords like username and password. Look into Warp 1.1.1.1 and free VPN add on.

Here’s more information on why some VPNs are helpful and some are not. We also explain why Bark uses a VPN (helpful!) :smiley:

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I don’t understand this answer. Without the VPN installed, can the phone still be monitored?

If screen time limits and check-ins are missing, I’m ok with that. But I still need BARK monitoring content.

What does the web filtering do? Will apps and photos and videos still be monitored?

We are Android, btw.

Hi @anovak98! Mom and Bark Community team member here … :wave: … Yes, the device can still be monitored for content without the VPN. Content monitoring and parental controls are managed differently for different devices. Happy to explain!

Our Bark for Kids Android app is all-inclusive and includes both monitoring and parental controls. However, you can certainly opt not to use the parental controls (a separate setting). The Bark for Kids app is still required to be installed on the child’s Android device for content monitoring. Androids are continuously monitored via the installed Bark for Kids Android app. For reference, here’s a detailed list of all Bark monitors on Android.

A little background about Bark’s VPN-
Bark’s screen time and web filtering prohibits or allows access to particular websites, apps, and internet services. On Android and iOS, this is accomplished via the Bark VPN on your child’s device. The Bark VPN doesn’t do anything other than block or allow content according to your screen time settings. It acts as a “gateway” to filter that traffic. Bark doesn’t need a VPN for device-level content monitoring, but we DO NEED a VPN to enforce web filtering on Android and iOS devices.

Here is more information on Bark’s screen time and web filtering.

And how to set up and manage screen time and web filtering rules.

I hope that helps! Please feel free to contact our Support team via help@bark.us or bark.us/contact if you have any questions or would like assistance with VPN or parental control settings for your devices. We’re here for you! :orange_heart:

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How can I uninstall the VPN portion of the app?
Thanks!

Hi again, @anovak98! Because the Bark for Kids Android app is all inclusive and provides BOTH monitoring AND parental controls in one app, you cannot uninstall the VPN portion of the app. However, if you’d like a better understanding of how Bark’s parental controls work, or how to adjust your alerts for devices and platforms, please do reach out to our Support team at help@bark.us. They’ll be able to gather additional information from your specific set up and assist you with this! Thank you! :nerd_face:

I can’t see bark vpn installednon my son’s android when I go to vpn.

Hi there, Tennille! Here’s how to set up the Bark Kids app on Androids; this includes screenshots and information on Bark’s VPN:

Here are also some troubleshooting steps to try:

You might also try checking for app updates:

As well as possibly logging out of the Bark for Kids app and then logging back in to prompt VPN installation if needed.

If our support team can assist you after trying these steps, please do connect with us at bark.us/contact for the best assistance! We thank you! :slight_smile:

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