TikTok App: How to Keep Kids Safe?

Kids and Teens are obsessed with the app TikTok.  TikTok is a free social networking app that lets you view, create, and share videos. It was initially available as musical.ly from the U.S. but was re-branded when the 2 apps merged in August 2018.  As they did on the now-defunct Vine, children can create brief, shareable videos which range from funny to serious. And just like YouTube, TikTok is an interactive universe of movies that enables you to connect with friends and admirers through like, comments, as well as duets.

However, with so much information out there, it can be challenging for parents to know if it is really safe. While TikTok videos are largely harmless, creative fun, there are real concerns about children using the program. Like any social networking, you need to use privacy settings to restrict how much information you and your children are sharing. Children can post stuff without editing or reviewing it first. There have even been reports of internet predators using the program to target younger users.


How secure is TikTok?

Using any social network can be risky, but it is possible for kids to safely use the program with adult supervision (along with a personal account). When you register for TikTok, your account is PUBLIC by default, meaning anybody can view your videos, send you direct messages, and use your place info.

Parents should be certain that you turn on all privacy settings for accounts children are using, so only people you know can socialize with your own videos or message you on the program. That means opting for a personal account or changing the settings for comments, duets, reactions, and messages to “Friends” rather than “Everyone.” You could even turn off those features completely.

How do you create your TikTok account private?

To create your TikTok account personal, visit your profile page and choose the three-dot icon at the top-right corner. There, toggle the switch for “Personal Account.” You can even select who will send you comments and direct messages, and that will do a duet with you. Using the “Friends” setting or turning off those features entirely limits contact with strangers.

Is TikTok appropriate for children?

Due to TikTok’s focus on popular music, many videos include swearing and sexual lyrics, so it might not be age-appropriate for children to use without supervision. If you supervise your children and stick to music you know from the radio, TikTok can be fairly kid-friendly.

In 2019, after settling with the Federal Trade Commission for kid privacy violations, the developers created a different section of this program for children that only allows them to get curated, clean videos.

How do I use TikTok with my children?

We suggest that you become a buffer between children and iffy content by watching your children and creating videos together. Suggest holding the camera or turn it around to perform a selfie duet. You can place it or store it as “private” so only you can see before you allow it to go Public. The program also lets you share videos by email, text, or other social websites where you can better control who sees it, so children can perform for friends and relatives rather than a broader network of people.

Can We do Remote Duets?

TikTok includes a feature that enables two users that aren’t in the same place to do a duet. Both users must follow one another to make it work. 1 user creates and posts a movie, and then a mutual follower can tap on the “…” icon in the bottom right of the video and choose “start duet now!” The next user can then lip-sync’d together with the first person, either switching back and forth or in a split screen.


Is there any way to limit or confine my child’s activity on TikTok?

TikTok provides a couple of parental controls in its “Digital Wellbeing” section. You have two options for how to put them up:

You can enable the features on your child’s telephone and protect them with a passcode.

Or, you can download TikTok in your phone and empower Family Pairing from the program to control your child’s telephone from your device.

Choose the features you want to enable:

Screen Time Management. This setting restricts users to a maximum of 2 hours on the program daily, but you can restrict it to 40 minutes. If you are only empowering this on your child’s phone, pick a passcode to lock the setting.

Restricted Mode. This blocks adult content, but even with the filter on, children using the program on their own might encounter age-inappropriate videos. Lock the setting using a passcode.

Family Pairing. This feature enables you to use your phone to control the above two configurations and disable direct messaging on your child’s account. Once you download TikTok and create your own account, you can visit Family Pairing and sync your accounts to your child’s through the QR code. As soon as you’re synced, you can begin managing your child’s account from the TikTok program on your phone.

Keep in mind children can always re-download TikTok and create a new account with a different telephone number or email address, so any controls that you empower are not foolproof.

How can I track my child’s activity on TikTok?

Aside from Restricted Mode, there is no way to filter out content on TikTok, so parents are invited to moderate an account with children under the age of 13. This will enable you to keep an eye on what your child is posting and viewing.

What age groups is TikTok meant for?

Common Sense recommends the program for age 15+ mainly because of the privacy problems and mature content.  For the full article click here.

ccnytech-bulletTech Tuesday is heard each Tuesday on Mix102.5 with Big Poppa and CCNY Tech Engineer Jake Sears. Since 1988, CCNY Tech has been an IT Hardware Sales and Services company. Ten years ago, CCNY Tech has added IT Asset Disposition to it’s offerings.


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