With the ever-changing technology and the new social media apps on the horizon, it can be daunting to keep up with your kid’s digital life. It’s hard to keep away kids from using digital devices given the current time we are living in.
Similarly, with every other kid being on social media platforms like TikTok, it’s even harder to prevent your kid from joining it. You may not be able to stop your kid from using social apps, but you can track their activity on the app with the help of monitoring software like the iPhone spy app or Android monitoring app.
In this post, we are going to explain to you what dangers your kid can be exposed to on social media outlets like TikTok and how to ensure their online safety on the said platform.
Preventing Kids from Dangers in the Digital World
We believe it’s not fair on the part of your kids to prevent them from spending time on social media. If you stop them, they will be more likely to sneak away with their phones and use the social apps secretly under your nose. Therefore, it’s best if you let them use the internet and spend time on social media by setting some limits and rules in place.
Kids use digital devices to seek new information, communicate with friends and family, and at the same time, keep themselves entertained with interesting apps and games on the internet. However, in the midst of browsing the internet, they stumble upon several dangers that could be life-threatening. This is where digital parenting comes into play.
Parents just want to ensure their kids have a safe online experience without having to worry about facing any obstacles and dangers. If you can tell them about the possible online dangers that they could face on social media apps and gaming platforms, they will understand how to tackle them and when to take a step away from them altogether.
Now, let us understand what TikTok is all about and whether or not the app is safe for our kids.
What is TikTok? Why Is It So Popular?
If you are a parent of a young kid or even a teenager, TikTok is most likely to be an important part of your kid’s life, whether it involves your kid spending several hours on the app, or spending so much time begging for your approval to download it on their devices.
For those who are not aware of the app yet, TikTok is a Chinese social media app that allows users to create videos, usually by lip-synching or dancing along with leading songs. Users can share the videos they create with friends or with a much wider community of TikTok users.
Taking precedence over Musical.ly, the popular video-sharing app, TikTok became the world’s most downloaded app in 2018, with an estimated 45.8 million downloads. This social media app is most popular among users under 16. In fact, the app is mostly used by kids and teenagers.
Kids and teens love using TikTok because it allows them to express themselves by creating short video clips and gain a significant following that helps them build a strong community around their passions. Different special effects can be applied to videos that make them more interesting and unique. What’s more, kids also get an opportunity to share the same content across different social media platforms.
Is TikTok Safe for Kids?
The sudden rise in the popularity of TikTok got many parents worried. They think it’s not a safe platform for kids. What made them think like this? Let’s understand here.
Many parents have expressed concerns about TikTok being an inappropriate app for kids. They have reported that some of the videos posted on the app contain inappropriate content and language which may be unsuitable for the younger kids. On the other hand, some parents also said that the app encourages pedophiles to get in touch with kids easily, putting them at great risk.
When a user downloads the app, he/she can view all the content shared on it without having to create an account. Though they cannot post, like or share anything until they have created an account on the app, they can still view everything.
Parents have the right to be worried about kids spending too much time on TikTok because the app allows pedophiles and internet stalkers to be on the app and silently see everything kids share. By default, all accounts on TikTok are public, allowing anyone on the app to see what your kid has shared. However, only approved followers are allowed to send them private messages.
So, if a pedophile, disguised as a kid, follows your kid on the app and gets approved on their followers list, they can easily send your kid a direct message and also view all the content shared on their profile. The presence of sexual predators is what makes this app unsafe for kids.
How to Ensure Kids Safety on TikTok?
Like other social media apps, TikTok also comes with several privacy features. Parents can enable privacy settings on the app to keep kids safe from online dangers.
Parents can ensure kid’s safety on the app by setting their TikTok accounts to private so that all the videos shared on the app can be only seen by the creator and no one else. You can approve or decline users and limit incoming messages to followers only when you turn your kid’s account to private.
On a private account, you can manage who can comment, duet and send a direct message to your kid on the app. Also, TikTok has recently introduced a Family Safety Mode that enables you to link your TikTok app to up to three kids to manage screen time as well turn on restricted mode which prevents your kids from viewing inappropriate content. With this mode on, parents can also restrict whether or not comments are allowed on their kid’s videos.
Last but not least, you can set up parental control apps on your kids’ devices to monitor their TikTok activity. Several iPhone monitoring and Android spy apps are available that can help you keep tabs on what your kids are doing on the app.