Tik-Tok parent fact sheet
PARENT FACTSHEET – FEBRUARY 2020
Keep your child safe on TikTok
What is it?
A video-sharing app that’s huge with children and teenagers right now. You lip-sync to music or do comedy sketches, and can add effects to your videos. You can also gain followers (‘fans’) and watch other people’s videos.
The age recommendation is 13 and above, but it’s easy for younger children to sign up too.
What are the concerns?
On the surface, not many (so far). But, there are a few things to watch out for, like:
User profiles talking about ‘trading’ or swapping pictures or videos
Emojis that are seen as sexually suggestive, like the aubergine
Hashtags, like #tradefortrade, which suggest the user is looking to trade illicit content
Sexual lyrics and swearing in songs
Content about eating disorders (known as ‘pro-ana’)
Users can’t share images and videos with TikTok’s in-app messaging, but once they’ve made contact, they can easily switch to another app, like Snapchat, to do this.
7 steps to keep your child safe
1. Set account to private and limit profile information
If your account is public, anyone (even people with no account) can watch your TikTok videos.
Even with a private account, anyone can see your child’s profile information. Tell them not to share personal information publicly, like their full name or where they go to school.
Plus, tell your child to only accept ‘fan’ requests from people they know and trust.
To make the account private, simply go to your child’s profile > Settings (the 3 dots in the top right) > Privacy and Safety > turn on ‘Private Account’.
2. Use family safety mode
This is a new feature, where parents can control some settings on their child’s account (more on which features below) from their own phone.
You’ll need to download TikTok and link your account to your child’s. Once you’ve created a profile, go to your profile > Settings > Digital wellbeing > Family safety mode > Choose ‘Parent’. Follow the same steps on your child’s phone but choose ‘Teen’, then scan the QR code with your camera to link your accounts.
3. Restrict interactions like direct messages and ‘duets’
Duets are where users reply to one person’s video with another video and then share it all. The videos appear together, side by side. Having a private account automatically means you can’t do duets, and stops people who aren’t your friends sending you messages.