TikTok Safety – What Parents Need To Know
How can you make the internet safer for your child?
Social media is great – it helps you stay connected with loved ones near and far and keeps you in the loop about world events. When it comes to a child’s activity on social media, parent supervision is a must. However, there are too many social media apps to count, and keeping track of your child’s activity on each one can be difficult. TikTok is the new ‘happening’ platform that helps create and share short videos.
Overall, parents do not need to be worried about their child’s activity on TikTok, since most TikTok videos are harmless and creative. They’re both fun to make and watch. Keeping a close eye on your child’s activity is still as crucial as ever. Fortunately, it is easy to monitor your child’s activity on TikTok and take control of what content they can and cannot see. This post will answer all your questions and concerns about TikTok and also help you ensure your child’s safety on the platform.
Is TikTok safe?
Using any social network is a little risky, but it’s possible for kids to safely use TikTok with adult supervision (and a private account). When your child signs up for TikTok, the account is public by default – which means anyone can see the videos they post, send them direct messages, and see their location information.
You must ensure that you turn on all the privacy settings on the account your child is using, so only people you know can message them and interact with the videos your child may post. You can do this by either turning the account into a private account or changing the settings for duets, comments, reactions, and messages from “Everyone” to “Friends.” You can also turn these features off completely.
How does TikTok work?
TikTok users sign up with an email address, a phone number, or a Facebook or Instagram account. Once logged in, users can search for videos by category or hashtags, or follow popular creators. The user can also use the list of social media followers or phone contacts to find friends that are already using the app. Many kids like to create videos, but other kids use the app to follow content creators and don’t post any videos themselves.
Is TikTok appropriate for children?
Because of the platforms’ emphasis on popular music, many videos on the app include swearing and sexual lyrics. The app is not age-appropriate for kids to use on their own. It is also easy to find people wearing revealing clothing and dancing suggestively. TikTok won’t let users search for objectionable content, so if you supervise your kids and stick to songs you already know, TikTok can be a kid-friendly experience.
In 2019, after settling with the FTC for child privacy violations (children under 13 could freely sign up), the developers created a separate section on the app for kids that only allows them to access curated, clean videos.
In this section, the child cannot comment, search, or post videos. However, bypassing this section is easy and requires entering a false birthdate. As long as you supervise your child, they should have a clean experience. You must also keep in mind that it is possible to spend real money in the app by adding virtual coins to your wallet.
How to make a TikTok account private
- Go to the profile page and tap on the three-dot icon in the top-right corner.
- Here, select “Privacy and Safety.”
- Next, toggle “Private Account.”
You can also choose who can comment on the videos and send direct messages, and who can do a duet using the “Friends” setting. You can also turn these features off entire and limit contact with strangers.
How to restrict your child’s activity on TikTok
TikTok universally blocks certain search terms on their app, and the app also furnishes a Digital Wellbeing section to help parents limit the time spent on the app and restrict the appearance of inappropriate content.
To turn these features on:
- Tap on the three dots at the top-right corner of your user profile.
- Next, tap on the “Digital Wellbeing” option.
A four-digit passcode protects these features, so the child cannot change any settings.
How to delete a TikTok video
To delete a TikTok video posted to your child’s account, tap on the video you want to remove from the profile.
Next, tap on the “…” icon in the bottom-right corner and tap on the trash can icon or the “Delete” button.
You must then confirm if you want to delete the video. When you confirm, the video will be removed from the profile.
How to delete a TikTok account
- Open the app and go to the profile. Then tap on the “…” icon in the top-right corner.
- Select the “Manage My Account” option, and from here, you must add a phone number if you haven’t already.
- You will receive a text on the phone number provided to verify the account.
- After adding the phone number, scroll to the bottom of the “Manage My Account” menu and tap on “Thinking of removing your account?”.
- A new page will appear, prompting you to enter a verification code. Tap on the “Send Code” option, and you will receive a message with a verification code.
- Type in the verification code and tap on “Continue.”
- You will see a list of the data that will be deleted with the account. Tap on “Continue” once again to confirm that you want to delete the account, and then tap on “Delete Account.”
Your child can use TikTok as long as you create a buffer between the child and the content they consume.
You can also use the app with your child by dueting with them.
Basic parental controls exist and limit your child’s activity to a certain extent – which should do the trick for children over the age of 13.
However, if your child is little, you must keep a close eye on their online activity.
If you feel uncomfortable with your child using the app, you can delete the app by following the steps above.
Overall though, TikTok is safe and fun to use – making it an app both children and adults can enjoy.