Digital app Bark claims to have stopped multiple “school shootings and bomb threats" by monitoring email, text messages and more than two dozen social media platforms, scanning for key words and analyzing content.
It looks for signs of cyber bullying, sexting, suicide, depression, potential drug use, online grooming from predators, acts of violence and alerts parents.
Both parent and child get the app and the parent can gain access to the information.
Licensed Professional Counselor Melody Brooke said there needs to be honesty and the child knows you're doing it, so they don't feel betrayed. It might feel like an invasion to your child, so you have to let them know this is just a tool to help you keep them safe.
“Not that I’m going to be paying attention to every single thing you do, but I want to be aware of if there’s something happening to you that’s a problem, because I want to be available to help you,” said Brooke.
She said this allows parents to see everything their children are texting and putting out there on social media, then they can talk to their children.
“You can get a real sense of whether they’re being bullied or whether they’re depressed. It’s just so important because the suicide rate is going up and the bullying rates being what they are. The kids who responded particularly badly to bullying, you know what happened there,” said Brooke.
There are several apps that help parents keep track of their children's social media use to see if they're being bullied and keep track of their feelings if posted online.