TikTok is the latest social media app that kids everywhere are using. Maybe you remember the previously known app Musical.ly? In 2018, TikTok acquired Musical.ly, and launched the app into a worldwide phenomenon. So here comes the big question: What is TikTok? As a parent, you are always looking for ways to protect your children. With the growth of technology, it’s becoming harder for parents to be aware of all the parental controls on every social media platform and device. Let’s take a look at what TikTik is and how you can make sure that your kids are using the app safely.
What Is TikTok?
TikTok is similar to your typical social media app, only it focuses on sharing short videos. The app allows users to create videos and post them onto their profile similar to Facebook or Instagram. TikTok users everywhere are creating short videos with their own twist, including the latest dance moves, lip syncing to popular songs, or recreating popular TikTok’s. Although the app was created by a Chinese company and was not released in the U.S. until late 2017, the app has taken the world by storm.
Dangers On The App
Just like any other social media app that involves videos, it raises concerns for parents. There are people on the app of all ages. Although the app is targeted for people in high school or older, younger users can still join the platform.
By default, the app will set your account to the public, and anyone can contact you. You want to watch for these threats while using the app and make sure that you do not leave yourself exposed to them:
- Sexual Predators
- Fake Accounts
- Inappropriate Content
- Dangerous TikTok Challenges
We are seeing TikToker’s putting their life at risk while trying to create or, in some cases, recreate famous TikToks. Maybe you remember the running man challenge? Or the Harlem Shake? The TikTok challenges are similar to those only now we see challenges like the Skull Breaker or the Cha Cha Slide Challenge. Make sure your children are using the app safely and aren’t posting anything that could put their life at risk.
TikTok Safety Settings & Features To Utilize
Using these tips below will not only allow you to make sure your child’s account secure, but they will help eliminate common threats on the app. The app is intended for people older than 13-years-old. Make sure your child’s account has these features activated to ensure their safety.
– Set Account To Private
If you switch the account to private, only those who follow your child’s account can see their TikToks. Your child is then able to pick and choose who can and cannot follow them. By having a private account, only those who follow them will be able to message them as well. TikTok accounts are automatically set to public, so make sure you make your child’s account private before they start posting.
– Activate Filter Comments
By activating the Filter Comments feature, you can reduce comments on your child’s TikTok posts. This will help avoid bullying for their profile, eliminate contact from strangers, and make it so that only their followers can comment. Your child must know all of their followers for this feature to be effective.
– Family Safety Mode
By enabling TikTok’s Family Safety Mode, parents will be able to monitor their child’s account in several useful ways. Here you can allow many different safety features, the first being restricted mode. With restricted mode, you can filter out inappropriate content you do not want your child to access. The other features included are screen time management, limiting the usage of the app, and disabling direct messages.
– Report Or Block Accounts & Content
You want to make sure your child knows how to block or report accounts. All you need to do to report a TikTok is click on the arrow located on the right side of your screen. This will direct you to a page where you can report the video and other features. To block the account entirely, you will need to click on the account, and in the top right, three grey dots should appear. If you click there, a new screen will pop up to block or report the account and many other features.
– Use A Monitoring App
Some parents are looking to monitoring apps like Highster Mobile to help make sure kids are using mobile devices safely. We are seeing these apps grow significantly over the years, assisting parents in knowing what kids are up to on their mobile devices. You can find out a lot of information from these apps, and make sure your child is not using any apps in any way that can leave them exposed to social media threats.
TikTok has many people using the app, and most likely, so are your children. You want to make sure that at all times, your kids are safe and not exposed to any threats. Using these tips will help make sure that your child’s TikTok account is secure and their use of the app is safe.
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