TikTok has blown up in recent years. Spurred by greater online activity during the COVID-19 pandemic, usership grew by 1157% around the world between 2018 and 2020. There are currently over 1 billion users worldwide . New apps like this are exciting and offer new opportunities for connection and education.
However, with every new app, it’s important we consider our online safety. In recent news, Tiktok was been under investigation for "potential facilitation of human trafficking and child privacy violations". Predators often take advantage of user’s inexperience with privacy and data restrictions on apps like TikTok. They may use a teenager or child’s social account to glean information for the online grooming process, or use their images or videos in an exploitative manner when accounts are not responsibly managed.
You can take charge of you and your family’s online safety by taking simple measures online. We have collected some simple steps to secure your accounts - check them out below:
- Ensure that your TikTok account is private
Keeping your account private means you have control over the people who follow you. This means they can’t access your videos or the videos you like. Accounts created by anyone over the age of 16 are automatically made public. Check your account. Go to setting >privacy> check “on” with your private account.
- Restrict who can send messages to your child’s account
Turn off direct messaging completely. Direct messaging is automatically disabled for users between the ages of 13 and 15.
- Enable Restricted Mode
Filters out content from your child’s feed that may not be appropriate for young audiences.
- Control who can like your videos
You can adjust who can view the videos your child has liked (Everyone or Friends only).
- Turn off comments
You can control who can comment on your videos (Everyone, Friends only or no one).
- Turn off Account Suggestion
Control whether an account can be recommended to others or not.
- Pair with your child’s account
Family Pairing enables parents to manage screen time, direct messaging settings, and the type of content their child can see on the app. To set up Family Pairing, download the TikTok app on your phone and create an account. With your child’s phone logged in and on the app:
Tap the three dots next to your user profile, then scroll down to Digital Wellbeing >Tap Family Pairing and select whether the phone you’re using belongs to you or your child>A QR code will be displayed on your phone. To link your accounts, your child scans the QR code >You can now access and manage the security features of your child’s account.