Is TikTok Safe for Your Kids? How to Keep Them Safe on the App?
Whether you know it or not, TikTok is already a part of your family’s life. Your kid or teen is most likely spending hours on the app, creating content, and sharing videos with others, or they are asking for your permission to download it.
For those parents who are not aware yet, TikTok is a social media app that can be used to generate videos, usually by following lip-sync on famous dialogues or dancing along on popular songs. Users can share the videos with their friends or a wide circle of other TikTok users on the platform.
Lately, kids have become obsessed with the app so much so that they have also forgotten the risks associated with it. Many kids are surrounded by online threats on the app that they have no idea about. You can let your kids use TikTok but at the same time make sure that they stay safe there. Installing spy apps for Android and iPhone can be one of the effective ways to ensure their safety on the app.
TikTok and Kids
TikTok also allows kids and teens to follow other TikTok users without posting their own content. This means your kids can follow other TikTok users without having to generate and post their own content on the app.
TikTok is one of those social media platforms where people can become quite popular. Even users having 100,000 plus followers on the app have become minor celebrities there. Those who have become the biggest stars on the app have more than 10 million followers.
The fact that kids and teens have the opportunity of becoming popular and turning into a celebrity through TikTok, they tend to use the app even more. They spend hours on the app, ignoring the threats lurking on it.
It may not be possible to prevent your kid from spending time on the app. Instead, you should monitor their activity on the app and see what they are doing and sharing there. As with any social media app, TikTok too has a dark side. Let’s discuss some ways you can keep your kids safe on the app.
Look Out for Inappropriate Content
The app is being used by people of all ages. This means there can be all sorts of videos uploaded on the app. There is a high chance that your kids could stumble upon a lot of videos that feature inappropriate content.
The videos may contain nudity, the use of foul language, vulgar dancing, etc. This sort of content is highly inappropriate for your kids and they should never come across it. There are also hashtags found on the app that have been linked to dangerous behaviors such as cutting and self-harming.
Being a parent, it is your responsibility to watch out for inappropriate content on the app. You need to block accounts that spread such content and filter out offensive comments, spam, and specific keywords that lead to dangerous behaviors.
TikTok has a version for kids under the age of 13 that allows them to create videos but not post them on the app. Also, they can only view the videos that are suitable for them.
Limit the Users Who Can See Your Kids’ Videos
Another way you can keep your kids safe on TikTok is to limit the users who can view your kids’ videos on the app. By default, the TikTok account is set to public. So, you need to make some changes to the settings of the app.
Kids should never have public TikTok accounts because then anyone can access their videos and post all sorts of comments on them. As soon as your kid creates an account on TikTok, you need to set their account to private so nobody can access their account.
When your kid has a private account, only the people they approve can follow them, like, and comment on their videos. Just in case your teen wants to have a public account on TikTok, make sure they have turned off “Allow others to find me”, and then control who can comment, like their videos, make duets with them, sends them messages, and view the videos that they have liked.
Stay Away from Cyberbullying
Gone are the days when bullying was limited to school playgrounds and backyards. Now, technology and social media platforms have made it easier for people to bully one another online. Cyberbullying has become way too common on social and it is also very much present on TikTok.
On this particular app, cyberbullying takes place in two forms. When a user performs a duet with or reacts to another user’s video on TikTok, the videos appear side by side. Some users have the habit of making fun of the videos in a duet or reaction that they consider bad or cringeworthy. Some people also make a compilation of bad videos on TikTok and then post them on their YouTube channels.
On the other side, people also can post rude and offensive comments under TikTok videos, hurting and demoralizing your kids on the app.
Monitor Your Kid’s Screen Time
Just like other social media apps, TikTok can consume a lot of precious time of your kids. They can spend hours scrolling and watching videos on the app. When they spend too much time on this app, their studies can suffer and they might lose interest in any other activity.
The best way to prevent your kid from spending too much time on the app is to monitor their screen time with the help of a parental control app. You need to keep a check on your kid’s account and see how much time they are spending on the app and what sort of videos they are watching there.
You can also use an iPhone or Android spy app to police your kid’s TikTok account. It is suggested to put screen time limits on your kid’s phone to half an hour on school days and an hour on weekends. You can also limit the screen time within the TikTok app from forty minutes to two hours.
As a parent, you can keep your kids safe on the app once you understand how to use it yourself. It’s recommended to check out the app yourself first before allowing your kids to use it. Spend some time on the app and see for yourself what sort of videos are being posted there. Gather as much as information you can about the privacy settings on the app so you can teach them about it to your kids later.