Modern children can’t imagine their lives without having registered accounts on the most popular social media apps. They need to be aware of what’s going on in their peers’ environment and check out the latest news at school.
Once being the most used social media platform, Facebook stepped back and gave first place to Instagram and then to TikTok. With 1.65 billion downloads so far, TikTok is the hottest social media app for schoolchildren.
But what is it, and why are kids obsessed with this app? Let’s find out.
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What Is TikTok?
TikTok is a comparatively new social media app that allows users to browse endless feed video content. The app originated from a lip-synching site Musical.ly launched in 2014. In 2018, it was purchased by ByteDance and became TikTok — a Chinese social media app as we recognize it today.
The TikTok content is variable. It runs enormous amounts of clips, starting from those involving people doing their routines (including the least pleasant videos) and ending up with pop stars performing their music hits.
Unfortunately, TikTok isn’t good enough in filtering content, so kids are imposed to the danger of running into inappropriate videos.
How Old Do You Have to Be to Have TikTok?
Parents will be happy to know that the tik tok app age limit really exists. The app is meant for children aged 13 and older.
However, kids are smart enough to create TikTok accounts using a fake date of birth. So, parents are recommended to check out if their kids have entered the correct data.
Does TikTok Have Native Parental Controls?
If you seek TikTok for kids, a limited version of the app for youngsters, you won’t find the one. It also doesn’t offer any “classic” parental controls. However, you take some safety measures depending on your child’s device type.
You can implement parental settings on your child’s iPhone by going to Settings > Screen Time.
If your kid owns an Android phone, you can restrict what content they can download. Go to Google Play on your child’s device, navigate to Menu > Settings > Parental Controls, and put them on.
Is Tik Tok Safe for Kids: the Biggest Dangers of the App
Although TikTok seems a perfect digital playground for children, it is also a good deal of trouble. Children can run into something they shouldn’t see, and this is the least of the problems. Teens and tweens can also fall victims to online scammers, predators, or cyberbullies.
TikTok Privacy Concerns
In 2019, the U.S. government opened a national security review related to user privacy concerns on TikTok. As was reported by New York Times, TikTok was acquired by a Chinese company. As a result, TikTok was fined for violating the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) and paid $5.7 million.
Although TikTok made an effort to improve its security settings, parents still need to take extra measures to safeguard their children.
It’s no secret that children enjoy communicating with others online. Unfortunately, some of their new friends can pretend to be someone they aren’t in reality. Millions of online predators surf the web daily and seek victims on apps, such as TikTok.
If parents don’t identify them before it’s too late, their kids can fall victims to online sexual abuse.
As was noted earlier in this article, running into inappropriate content on TikTok is normal. People upload what they want, even if their videos are offensive, dangerous, or adult-oriented.
If a child uses the incorrect date of birth during registration, they will obviously run into something they shouldn’t see.
How Do I Protect My Child from the Dangers of TikTok?
Manage TikTok Parental Controls in Your Kid’s Account
Although parental controls on TikTok aren’t perfect, you still can use them to prevent your kid from seeing inappropriate content.
Here’s how you can set them up:
- Access your kid’s TikTok account.
- Click the three-dot menu in the upper right-hand corner of the screen.
- When the menu opens, go to Privacy and settings.
- Scroll down and click Privacy and safety under the Account section.
- Click the toggle button that indicates setting a child’s account to private.
- Toggle off the option that allows others to find your kid on TikTok.
If you want to customize who can leave comments under your kid’s posts, go to the Safety section. Choose users to interact with your child by selecting one of the available options: “Everyone,” “Friends,” or “Off.”
The main disadvantage of built-in TikTok safety measures is that your kid can turn off all the settings in a couple of clicks. We recommend that you use a passcode-enabled screen time management system. You can find it in Privacy and settings > Digital Wellbeing.
You can also use a restricted mode to prevent your children from seeing age-inappropriate content on TikTok.
Use a Parental Control App to Monitor Your Child on TikTok
A proven way to protect your children from the dangers of TikTok is by installing a parental control app on their cell phones. A monitoring tool, such as Eyezy, can help you monitor your kid’s device anytime right from your smartphone.
You can use basic parental controls to monitor your kid’s phone calls, text messages, and media files remotely. But if you in dire need of getting more details on your kid’s online activity, use its advanced features, such as:
- Screenrecorder — record your kid’s cell phone screen anytime and get all the records right to your user dashboard;
- Keylogger — set restricted words and get alerts anytime your child types them into messages or browser search bar;
- App blocking — restrict the apps you disapprove of (including TikTok) and prevent your kid from getting into trouble online.
Final Thoughts: Why Monitoring Your Kid’s TikTok Is Important
Although setting up trusting relations with kids is important, every parent must realize that knowledge is power. When you’re aware of the dangers that your child can face on TikTok, you have a possibility to prevent your kid from getting into trouble online.
This is what parental control apps, such as Eyezy, are designed for. With their help, parents can gain peace of mind by monitoring their kids’ online activity anytime they need.