Many parents have been asking the question “is Tik Tok safe for kids?” In order to answer this question, it is important to understand what the app is about and how it has been used.
Tik Tok is a free social media app designed for creating and sharing short music videos. It replaces the Musical.ly that shut down in August 2018 having all of its 100 million users transferred to Tik Tok app.
Developed in China, Tik Tok online is used for creating, sharing and discovering music videos. It is like Karaoke for the digital age.
Users can watch videos of others or even create their own short video clips. Young people tend to use this app to record videos of themselves lip-synching to the latest music.
The videos are recorded in 15-second clips and users can add special effects before sharing them on this platform.
Tik Tok online also enables live streaming of videos via Live.Me and interact with the audience via a chat function.
Lip-syncing and dancing videos are the most popular genres on the platform.
Just like Youtube, TikTok is an interactive online app where you can connect with friends, comment on videos and follow other people on the platform.
Some kids have gained popularity and fame using this app. For instance, Jacob Sartorious became an Internet sensation from his lip-synching videos.
Related : Famous Tik Tok Dances 2020
You first need to download the Tik Tok app from Google or Apple store.
Once you have done that, open the Tik Tok app.
Then enter a username ( best not to use your real name) and select a password)
Then click on ‘login’.
You even have the option to log in to Tik Tok using another social media account like Facebook.
To do this you need to head over to iTunes.
Follow the steps below :
Now head over to My Programs on your computer.
Then connect your device to your computer using a USB cable
Click on the Programs tab on the screen
Find the available apps and click on Install.
You can now sync your phone with iTunes.
Currently, you can’t do this directly. Here is how you can do it via Blue stack
” Tik Tok plans to commission hundreds of experts and institutions to produce educational content for the platform.
Universities and charities are among those who will be paid to create bespoke content for the social media giant.
The new focus could appeal to the trend for micro-learning” BBC News
Initially, educational videos on Tik Tok will include actor Sean Sagar sharing audition tips.
TV presenter Rachel Riley will also share mathematic skills on Tik Tok
Before allowing your child on Tik Tok, read the blog below to understand the parental control measures, privacy and data issues and tips on keeping children safe on Tik Tok.
Tik Tok has been collecting children’s data without their consent and it promised to change that.
Tik Tok promised to make changes like gaining parental permission before collecting data and not storing data of children below the age of 13 years old.
Tik Tok has introduced parental control features to make it’s app safer for younger user.
Here are some safety features introduced by Tik Tok in 2020 :
Your child will firstly assign you as a parent which then gives you remote control over their Tik Tok access.
Under this setting you can set time limits and also exclude inappropriate content and who can send messages to your child.
The best thing about this feature is that you can do all this from your mobile phone. Hence, you know your child is always going to be protected.
To switch this on go to Settings > Digital Wellbeing > Family Safe Mode.
This is one of the most important settings if your child is using Tik Tok.
Using restricted mode you can limit the content that appears on your child’s account.
I must warn that this setting is not perfect and sometimes inappropriate content can always slip through. Nonetheless, it is good to have this switched on.
You can even set a passcode to prevent your child from changing this setting later on.
You’ll find this in Settings > Digital Wellbeing > Screen Time Management
You can limit the amount of time your child spends on TikTok each day.
Go into Settings > Digital Wellbeing > Screen Time Management.
You can set time limits after which point your child will be cut off for the rest of the day.
You can even set a passcode to prevent your child from changing this setting in the future.
In Privacy and Safety > Safety, you can prevent other users from interacting with your child.
At the moment this setting is set on Everyone by default, but can be changed to Friends or Off.
It is also a good idea to activate comment filters so your kids can’s see any dodgy messages.
psst, don’t forget to :Download the THE GROWTH MINDSET KIT helping children to stay calm, confident and grounded even when growing up around social media.
Do keep in mind, wherever kids hang out there is always a chance of predators being around.
Protect Young Eyes reported about a young girl who posted a video of her lip syncing on Tik Tok and within few hours, she got a message from a man with a video of himself masturbating to her video ( the young girl kept her profile to public)
You can check the Growth Mindset Kit designed to raise confident kids growing up with tech
Tik Tok requires users to be at least 13 years old to access its platform.
Under the new EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), Ireland has now set the Digital Age of Consent to 16 years old. Anyone under the age of 16 years old cannot access this platform.
Common Sense Media has recommended that this app is appropriate for those aged at least 16 years old and above due to its mature content and information settings.
Tik Tok collects information about its users.
This is a brief summary on what is stated in its Privacy Page:
Protect Young Eyes have some serious concerns about the safety of this app.
According to COPPA your child should be at least 13 years old to use this app. However, be cautious when allowing your child on it.
Keep in mind some of the risks stated above.
Common Sense Media recommends your child should be at least 16 years old before being allowed on this app.
In my opinion, if you want to allow your 13-year-old on this app you need to monitor their account closely and let them know that you will be following them and checking their app. This is to ensure they are not exposed to some of the dangers that can be found in the app.
Remember that any social media platform can be a source of cyberbullying and a ground for sexual predators.
Tik Tok, like any other app, can present such dangers to your child. Always monitor their account and speak to them regularly about what they do or read online.
If your child decides to use Tik Tok and is on any social media site then use monitoring tools like Bark to monitor their online activities. Bark will alert parents when kids have viewed something inappropriate.
You can start a 14-day FREE trial today.
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This blog previously appeared on the Family Online Safety Institute’s website.