Digital Dilemma: How To Protect Your Kids on TikTok

Digital Dilemma How To Protect Your Kids on TikTok

Digital Dilemma How To Protect Your Kids on TikTok

 

We live in a digitally diverse world: from fashion to gaming apps, to Zoom and Microsoft Teams – there are a plethora of ways to interact with people across the globe digitally. One such platform is TikTok and since it’s launch in September 2016, the video-sharing platform has amassed over 800 million worldwide users.

TikTok’s premise is basic – you can record and upload videos, follow other ‘TikTokers’ and interact with videos via sharing, commenting, or and liking. It’s so popular, that the video-sharing app has overtaken social media titans Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest and Snapchat in the 3 years since launching.

However, what once was the go-to entertainment for shut-in tweens and adults alike – an evergreen source of how-to dance routines, comedy sketches and viral content turned very dark. On Monday, it was reported that a clip of a man committing suicide was being widely shared across the platform, with many young people being exposed to the graphic content through TikTok’s ‘For You’ page.

With this week’s controversy and previous concerns about inappropriate content on the app, there has been a surge in concern from parents about just how safe the app really is.

We’ve created a list of methods you can utilise to ensure that the young people in your life are fully protected on TikTok.

 

Understand It

First and foremost, If your child is on TikTok, ensure that you have at least some understanding of the platform. Download the app for yourself and get to know the interface so you develop an open and honest discussion about digital literacy and footprint.

To view TikTok’s latest updates on safety click here.

Family Pairing

Parents and guardians can link their children’s TikTok accounts to their own in order to allow direct messages to be disabled, turn off restricted content and set screen time limits.

To activate this feature, you must:

  • Open TikTok on both your own and your child’s phone
  • Go to your TikTok profile
  • Hit the three dots in the top left corner
  • Scroll down to ‘Content & Activity’
  • Hit ‘Family Pairing’ and follow the on-screen instructions

Please note that kids are able to disable this feature at any time, however parents will receive a notification – Can everyone say, ‘grounded’?

 

App Settings

Without enabling Family Pairing, parents are still able to exercise control through the app’s ‘Digital Wellbeing’ section. This feature allows a user to manage screen time and turn on/off ‘restricted mode’

To navigate these options: 

  • Open TikTok on your child’s phone
  • Go to their TikTok profile
  • Hit the three dots in the top left corner
  • Scroll down to ‘Digital Wellbeing’ and adjust as necessary

Open Conversation

It’s important that parents are having open conversations with their children, not only about safety on TikTok but on the internet as a whole.

The age at which young people are being exposed to social media has steadily decreased over the past few years and parents play a vital role in imparting the necessary knowledge and skills to keep young people safe from online dangers.

It’s important that young people are encouraged to have a private account on the platform and to only connect with people that they know.

It’s also worth having a transparent view of their account either having access to the passwords they use on social media or requesting that their accounts be made private thus limiting the amount of ‘random’ friend requests.

There’s no escaping this digitally diverse world we live in, but a little understanding goes a long way when it comes to protecting young people online.

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