If you’re the parent of a tween, you’ve probably heard about the wildly popular social media app TikTok, a video-sharing platform where users can watch and create self-made videos shot directly from their iPhones. While the app serves as a wonderful and entertaining creative outlet for many, parents might wonder about the safety implications associated with the app. With users as young as 10 years old participating in the social world of TikTok, it’s critical that parents are aware of the app’s risks.
One risk that comes with any social media platform is the potential for exposure to inappropriate content, and TikTok isn’t immune to this risk. While the app’s official guidelines don’t allow users to share illegal or inappropriate content, there aren’t actual humans sifting through the content to ensure explicit content is removed. Instead, the app runs on digital algorithms to handle the job. This means that some inappropriate content will inevitably fly under the radar and land on kids’ screens.
Another area of concern is general data privacy issues. Parents would be wise to understand that certain data is being collected about their children if they have a TikTok account. That includes their geographical location, internet address, birthdays, email addresses, and the type of device being used. TikTok also has access to all private messages that are shared within the app.
While these risks aren’t to be ignored, there are several steps you can take to manage the way your child uses TikTok and ensure they’re participating in the app as safely as possible. There are a variety of parental controls that allow for stronger privacy and protection, and mitigate many of the risks associated with the app. For an in-depth breakdown of what safety measures you can take to ensure your child is staying safe online, take a look at the article from Panda Security.