Tik-Tok is a video-sharing social media application. Earlier it was known as the Musical.ly app. The user creates a Tik-Tok account to create 15-60 second videos. Also,  post them, view others’ videos, like them, comment on them, and share videos from other users. 

Tik-Tok is developed by Bytedance, a China-based company. Its initial release was in September 2016. By 2019 Tik-Tok has crossed 1 billion+ downloads on google play stores. It means 1/7 billion of the world’s population is using it.

Tik-Tok allows its user to create short lip-sync videos of their favorite movie’s dialogues, songs, their new content videos, cooking videos, photos presentation videos, and many more. It has got unique filters, background, and green background features. 

Once you get into the application and start watching videos. With the Tik-Tok unique algorithm analysis features, we don’t need to scroll down or search. It plays another video and loops it, unlike any other social media.

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Why is Tik-Tok Dangerous for Kids?

Tik-Tok has got many dark rumors and unnecessary praise. It is said that “It uses personal data illegally and secretly from people’s smartphones when they install it in their phones”. Still, Tik-Tok is one of the most used applications in 2019 and 2020. But, it is banned in many countries till 2021. 

The dangers of Tik-Tok for kids are:

  1. Kids can be victims of cyberbullying:

Tik-Tok is a social media platform for cringe compilation. Its users expect to create cool, unique, and worthy but in reality, the contents seem to be uncool, odd and cringe. These videos get more attention and are viral on all social media platforms.

Distinct from physical bullying cyberbullying more and more people are engaged. As the videos get viral seeks more attention and so do comments. Some people become so harsh and comment inappropriately.

The comments, trolls, and bullying activities break down kids’ emotions and mental stability. Thus, kids may suffer from mental issues, suicidal though and some even commit suicide.

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  1.  Kids can find inappropriate contents:

Tik-Tok has users of almost all age groups so if a kid creates an account, they have direct access to the public video. Almost 1/7th of the population of the world is using it. Kids have more probability to watch sexual content, explicit images and hear inappropriate lyrics. They also have access to these inappropriate lyrics, and may innocently use them in their videos.

Although the app has two sections “for you” where algorithm analysis is created to stream videos for you. Next is “following” where contents from people whom you follow are visible. They can view and use both sections and can find inappropriate content.

Not only the sexual contents are there but dangerous stunts videos from where kids get inspired and want to create them. That can cause physical harm and injury that sometimes it may take their life’s too. 

  1. Excessive screen time by addiction to Tik-Tok:

Tik-Tok has got the algorithm analysis features. It analyzes the video types you may like by taking references to previously liked videos. It auto-plays videos after the previous and repeats them. 

This feature makes it a curiosity magnet for your kids. They do not need to scroll or search. They just keep on watching it.

Not only watching but the kid is very much addicted to making Tik-Tok videos. Tik-Tok is a location-based app so it has got drafts of the movies and songs famous in your very own location. Making them favorable to create new Tik-Tok videos.

  1. Kids can get spams and malicious attacks using Tik-Tok:

Tik-Tok has an insecure HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol) connection to deliver video faster and simpler for an opening to capture and use its draft. It uses a content transfer network to push content to a worldwide audience of billions. 

As Tik-Tok’s content is shared over HTTP it is easy to track, hack and attack malicious artists. Hackers have exposed the flaws of the app and sent spam loaded with malware. 

According, to a report it says that hackers can even change the video settings of users. They can convert the private videos to the public and steal all the personal information.

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  1. Tik-Tok has got weak privacy setting:

If you try to record something in Tik-Tok the app asks for permission to allow your camera and SD card access permission. This is common in almost all social media apps but the problem is Tik-Tok accesses your location without any permission. Even though you turn off your location.

For your location, Tik-Tok uses data from SIM card, IP address, and GPS (Global Positioning System) data without your permission. This is the main risk factor a bad person can follow your kid’s location may harm them physically. They can abuse, kidnap, or other violence’s to your kids.

  1. Tik-Tok may develop a quest for the limelight, like and comments in kids’ mentality:

 Like other social media, some users are worried about the growth of likes, comments, views, and fan followers. The passion and obsession for these things can lead kids to make the worst decisions. They take risks in making exciting videos.

Risky challenges and activities make kids share harmful, fishy, cringe content that makes them victims of cyberbullying. They sometimes want to create dangerous stunts for love and following which can injure them physically.  

  1. Tik-Tok Predators:

Once kids get used to making Tik-Tok videos. They share every activity and moment by making videos. They make videos while playing, eating delicious food, celebrating an occasion, weekends, traveling, etc. 

These videos reveal a lot of personal information about them like their home and school address, their daily routines, their current location. The Predators may use your personal information to harm your kids and follow them to doorsteps.  

Anyone who follows your kids on Tik-Tok can privately message you kids. They can message or share inappropriate content to your kids which may mentally affect your kids.

How parents can make Tik-Tok safe for their kids?

Parents play a vital role to make their kids safe from social media, cyberbullying, and other digital platforms. The parent should be a mentor for their kids. They should be aware their kids of the harms and dangers of all these digital platforms.

They have to make Tik-Tok safe for their kids by:

  • Be a tik-to mentor for your kid:

First of all, download the app on your phone, view all features, and learn how to use it. If once you know all the privacy settings, account settings, and restriction settings. Then, go through the app together. 

Make your kid’s account a private account. It helps to keep your videos visible only by them. With enabling this kid can accept or reject users and control over the Predators messages.

Steps for making the account private:

  1. Go to your profile.
  2. In the right corner of their setting tab it
  3. Tap on Privacy and Safety Icon
  4. Slide the toggle button to right (to turn on)

Though making an account private can share personal information like username, bio, and photos. But prevents kids from getting messages from unknown persons and other users do not get the suggestion to follow them.

You can share about the damage Tik-Tok can make in their life with your kids. Aware and teach your kids about being an upstander. Also, you can teach them to report inappropriate content, messages, comments, and unauthorized persons.

The steps to report are as follow:

To report unauthorized person profile:

  1. Go to the person’s profile
  2. Tap on the dots (in the right corner)
  3. Tap on Report

To report inappropriate video:

  1. Go to the video and open it.
  2. Tap on the share icon (on the right)
  3. Tap on Report

To report unknown messages:

  1. Open the conversation you like to report
  2. Tap on the icon (on the right corner at the top)
  3. Tap on Report

To report inappropriate comments:

  1. Tap on the comment you find inappropriate.
  2. Report it by tapping it.
  • Restriction mode:

As a Parent, you can control the appearance of content that might be inappropriate for your kids by enabling restriction mode. It filters out the inappropriate and mature content of your kid’s Tik-Tok account. One of the best ways to make TikTok safe for their kids is to set up parental control on TikTok. Check our full guide on how to set up parental control on TikTok.

The steps to enable Restricted Mode on your kids Tik-Tok are as follow:

  1. Update the Tik-Tok app from the play/app store
  2. Tap on profile in the right corner
  3. Scroll down and tap to Digital Wellbeing
  4. Then Select Restriction Mode 
  5. Tap to “Turn on Restricted Mode”
  6. Set the password and confirm it.
  • Screen time management:

You can use Screen Time Management features on your kid’s Tik-Tok. This feature helps to limit the screen time of using Tik-Tok. It can help to control Tik-Tok addiction.

For example, if you enable this feature and set the screen time limit to like 60 minutes. After your kids use Tik-Tok for 60 minutes the screen automatically locks itself and asks for a password to reopen the app.

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The steps to enable Screen Time Limit on your kids Tik-Tok are as follow:

  1. Update the Tik-Tok app from the play/app store
  2. Tap on profile in the right corner
  3. Scroll down and tap to Digital Wellbeing
  4. Then Select Screen Time Management 
  5. Turn it on (press red button)
  6. Then set the time limit like 60 minutes, 120 minutes, etc.
  7. Set the password and confirm it.

Hence, Tik-Tok has added many features to protect your kids from different dangers. You need to stay updated with the application features, study them, and use them. It has got “The Community Guideline” on the way to inspire a safe and sociable atmosphere in the app. Tik-Tok practices a combination of guidelines and social and machine-based self-control. It practices filtering content that may interrupt the guidelines.