Category Archives: Security

Technology and Middle school

MDS Tech ran across a site with a lot of useful information about students and technology – specifically, the use of smartphones.

“Teens spend an average of seven hours and 22 minutes on their phones a day, and tweens — ages 8 to 12 — are at four hours and 44 minutes daily, according to a report by Common Sense Media.”
— taken from

“Smartphones are distracting and potentially dangerous for children yet are widespread in elementary and middle school because of unrealistic social pressure and expectations to have one.”

“Parents feel powerless in this uphill battle and need community support to help delay the ever-evolving presence of the smartphone in the classroom, social arena and family dinner table. Let’s band together to wait until at least eighth grade before children are allowed to have a smartphone. “ – top Silicon Valley execs are delaying the smartphone for THEIR children until at least age 14. Click the link to learn more. – the FAQ that explains what the pledge is, how to rally people from the school into participating, and even has downloadable signup sheets and posters. – emails, posters, packets, signs, flyers, and even a video. – all sorts of best practices, family guides, and even a list of resources and services you can use in your family. – “When you are considering what communication device is best for your child, it is important first to ask what is the purpose of the device? In other words, why does my child need a phone? If calling and texting is all that is needed, we encourage parents to consider a basic phone before a smartphone.”

Parental Controls on your Home Network

An article for Parents who are trying to maintain some safety on their home network. Note that this is for information only – please do not think of this as an “official endorsement”.

MDS Tech does think it’s a pretty interesting idea, and worth a look.

Bark is able to provide monitoring for iPads with the help of the Bark Desktop Application. The Bark Desktop is downloaded onto the main computer and will analyze the iPad for text, photos, videos, web browsing, and voice memos every time the device is detected over Wifi or plugged in.
How to Monitor an iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch
However, if you want to take advantage of our “on the go” screentime and web-filtering on the device, you’ll need to download the Bark VPN. This allows parents to apply rules such as what apps or websites can be accessed and blocked during scheduled times.  These rules sets will apply even when the child is away from the home and off the main network. You do not need this feature for monitoring the device as it works independently. 
[NOTE: This may involve working with MDS Tech to get the VPN setup.]
What is Screen Time & Web Filtering?
If you want to apply the same limitations to the device without using our VPN, you’ll want to purchase our Bark Home product. This applies your screentime and web-filtering rules for every device in the household – including devices that can’t download the VPN [ such as smart TVs, watches, etc.] The Bark Home works as a gatekeeper for the router and filters websites based on the rules that you have set for each profile. You decide which profile rules get set for which device. Remember that once the device leaves the Home WiFi network, the screentime and web-filtering rules will not take place. 
What is Bark Home or In-Home Controls?