First there was Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and now TikTok. TikTok is the latest (and very popular) social media platform to hit cell phones. However, just like all social media sites, parents are concerned about their child’s safety. This includes viewing inappropriate content, cyberbullying, and messages from strangers. Below, we discuss exactly what TikTok is and parental controls that can be used to protect a child’s TikTok account.
What Is TikTok?
TikTok, formally known as Musical.ly, allows users to publish short-form videos (15 or 60 seconds). When posting video clips, users can apply effects, music, text, filters, and more as they please. To help get their TikToks more exposure, they may use a popular song or include a hashtag that’s trending.
With the Discover feature, users can search any sound, keyword, and more, along with viewing trending hashtags. In the Inbox, users can see who likes and comments on their videos, and access direct messages. The app is supposed to be used by kids 13-years-old and up. However, there’s nothing preventing younger kids from creating an account.
All Of The TikTok Parental Controls Available
By default, all TikTok accounts are public. If someone has a public account, it means anyone can view their profile, watch their posts, and follow or message them. To protect kids from any unwanted comments, messages, or followers, their account should be set to private. To do this on your child’s account, you need to go to their profile → click on ⋮ in the top right corner → Privacy and safety → Turn on Private account.
With Family Pairing, parents can link their TikTok account to their child’s account. This allows parents to oversee their child’s Digital Wellbeing settings including Screen Time Management, Restricted Mode, and Direct Messages. To turn on Family Pairing, go on your child’s TikTok account → click on ⋮ in the top right corner → Digital Wellbeing → Family Pairing → Select “Teen” → Pull up your parent account QR code which is available under Manage My Account and scan it. Follow the other prompts to complete linking you and your child’s TikTok accounts.
Limit what content your child sees such as mature content and inappropriate videos. If parents wish, they can also set a passcode to easily turn off this feature in the future. To enable it, go to your child’s TikTok profile → click on ⋮ in the top right corner → Digital Wellbeing Restricted Mode → Turn on Restricted Mode → Set a four number passcode and re-enter it.
Screen Time Management
Don’t want your child overusing TikTok everyday? You can set a limit of 40, 60, 90, or 120 minutes allowed per day using this feature. With all of the other apps and games they are playing, it’s a good idea to put some limits on their technology use. To use the screen time setting, navigate to your child’s account → click on ⋮ in the top right corner → Digital Wellbeing → Screen Time Management → Turn on Screen Time Management → Set a four number password and re-enter it.
If your child is between the ages of 13 and 15, direct messaging is already disabled on their account. However, if you want to check their messaging settings and manually change them, you can do so. Go to your child’s profile → click on ⋮ in the top right corner → Privacy and safety → click on ⋮ in the top right corner → Who can send you direct messages → click on ⋮ in the top right corner → Choose No one.
To avoid any unwarranted comments from strangers, you can control who can comment on your child’s videos. To edit this setting, visit your child’s account → click on ⋮ in the top right corner → Privacy and safety → Who can comment on your videos → Select Friends or No one.
Block Other Users
If you don’t want your child viewing or contacting another user, you can block them. To block another user, you just have to go to their profile → click on ⋮ in the top right corner → click on Block.
As this social media app continues to grow in popularity, more TikTok parental controls will likely be added. As a parent, it’s important to stay up-to-date with the latest social media, device security and privacy measures that can be used to protect kids.
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