What’s the news? 

Cricket Wireless and Bark Technologies announced today that they are collaborating to help families safely navigate the digital world. The AT&T Prepaid Portfolio, which includes Cricket Wireless, was the fastest growing prepaid carrier in the United States in Q2 2021 and has been for the past three years. While Bark Technologies is an award-winning online safety and parental control service.

Why does it matter? 

Recent studies from Bark show that in the first three months of 2021, there was a 143% increase in alerts for self-harm and suicidal ideation among children ages 12—18 as compared to the first three months of 2020. Suicide attempts, sexting, hate speech, and cyberbullying have also been trending upwards among young people. In 2020, Bark analyzed more than 2.1 billion messages across multiple platforms and found that 87.9% of teens encountered nudity or sexual content online, 66.6% of teens were involved in a self-harm/suicidal situation, and 82% of teens experienced bullying.

“With so many families using their wireless devices as a primary way to connect and communicate, we want to help kids do it in a safe and positive way. Through this collaboration with Bark, Cricket is arming young people with tools to protect themselves online and empowering parents to help their children navigate the complex digital world,” said Tony Mokry, vice president and chief marketing officer at Cricket Wireless. “We look forward to sharing the Bark information and resources across the communities we serve,” Mokry added.

The Bark/Cricket Wireless initiative aligns with Cricket’s corporate social responsibility priorities to educate young people on digital citizenship. Cricket plans to share the resources from the Bark collaboration with other non-profit organizations it works with nationwide.

“For the past six years, Bark has created a roadmap for families to successfully navigate the digital world while protecting more than 5.7 million children online,” said Brian Bason, Bark founder and CEO. “We are excited to expand this safety coverage to reach even more families by collaborating with Cricket Wireless.”

What’s the deal? 

Starting today, Cricket customers can visit http://www.bark.us/cricketwireless or any of the participating 4,500 Cricket locations nationwide and scan a QR code to access special deals on Bark. Customers can sign up for Bark Jr for FREE or subscribe to Bark Premium at the discounted rate of $9.99/month. New Bark customers only. After 12 months, Bark Premium renews at the prevailing rate (currently $14/mo.) unless you cancel.

Two Options Available:

  • Bark Jr: free to Cricket customers and is perfect for younger kids. Parents and guardians canmanage screen time and filter websites to ensure their children are accessing appropriate content. The app also gives parents and guardians a tool to keep up with their kids with location check-ins.
  • Bark Premium: comes with all the features of Bark Jr, plus the ability to monitor activities in emails, browsers, text messages, and 30+ apps and social platforms. Parents receive alerts for issues like cyberbullying, online predators, suicidal ideation, and more.

What else? 

Bark and Cricket created additional resources to educate parents on protecting their children online and raising responsible digital citizens. These resources include five weeks of themedonline and printed materials on topics including digital citizenship, cyberbullying, sexting, online predators, teen slang, emojis, and more. Customers can also tune into weekly Facebook Live sessions where parents can learn additional tips on technology and parenting in a digital world from Bark experts. Customers can also pick up a printed quick-start guide, “Navigating The Digital World,” at participating Cricket stores.

For more information and to take advantage of this offer, visit https://sponsorships.cricketwireless.com/parentalcontrols.