Social Media: A place for people to share themselves with the world and connect with friends, family, and those who have similar interests. To continue the social media saga is the social media app, TikTok. It continues the main purposes of all social networks, but in the form of short videos. However, just like with any other social media app, parents are concerned with their children’s online safety. Is TikTok safe for kids? We address this question as well as safety precautions parents can take below.
What Is TikTok?
TikTok is a social media app where users can create, share, and watch short video clips. TikTok started out as Musical.ly, and officially became TikTok in 2018. Users can share all types of video clips such as those lip syncing to movie lines, hashtag challenges, and doing silly actions. Out of the millions of users on the video sharing app, about 41% of them are between the ages of 16 and 24 (globalwebindex).
As per TikTok’s restrictions, anyone 13-years-old and older can join the platform. However, this doesn’t stop those who are younger from joining. The platform has even run into issues with collecting the data of children younger than 13 without their parent’s consent, which is illegal. In light of issues such as this, TikTok has provided users with many features and settings to help ensure the safety of kids who use the app.
Safety Tips For TikTok Users
What Are You Keeping Your Kids Safe From?
- Inappropriate Content
With a simple search, your child could stumble upon content they shouldn’t see on TikTok. This includes content that contains violence, sexual innuendos, and language. Having your child exposed to such media at a young age could negatively affect them later in life. By using Restricted Mode on TikTok, inappropriate content such as this will be filtered out from their view.
- Sexual Predators
Sexual predators use social media as a tool to isolate, target, and get in contact with children. They often pose as someone their target’s age or someone that is attractive. Then, they interact with their TikToks and possibly message them privately to gain their trust. However, this can all be prevented by setting your child’s account to private, manually approving their followers, and disabling their messages entirely.
Cyberbullies hide in all corners of the internet. Social media, email, messaging app, forums, Reddit, and so on. Most social platforms have taken strides to combat these bullies, including TikTok. Comments can be filtered so only those from your child’s followers appear. They can also report and block anyone who is harassing and bullying them on the platform.
Thankfully, as seen by our infographic, there are TikTok parental controls and settings parents can use to keep their child safe. However, these threats should not deter kids from using TikTok and other social media apps. As long as parents take the necessary precautions and teach their children about online safety, there’s no reason to worry.
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