The following scene is becoming more and more common in homes: you enter your child’s room and find him doing a choreography or an act while recording with his cell phone.
You might think that your son is the new talent in Brazilian dramaturgy and that he is already practicing for the school plays, but the truth is quite different: he is very likely to be posting a video on Tik Tok.
Despite being a friendly app that encourages the creation of light and harmless content, parents need to track and monitor their children’s activity on the network so that they can use Tik Tok the way it was intended.
Understand more about Tik Tok for kids, its safety and what care parents need to take so their kids can have fun without any problems.
What is TikTok?
Tik Tok is an app of Chinese origin focused on producing and sharing fun audiovisual content full of visual effects.
The social network already has billions of active users around the world, being considered the newest internet fever among children, teenagers and adults.
Tik Tok fever
Launched in 2016 in China, Tik Tok began to gain more visibility from 2018 onwards in the United States and Europe.
Gradually, the app that was very focused on the Asian audience overcame this barrier and gained popularity around the world.
Today the app is present in 141 countries (and is among the most downloaded apps in 135 of them), is translated into several languages and has more than 800 million active users worldwide.
And anyone who thinks that children are unanimous in the app is wrong. 40% of Tik Tok users are between 16 and 24 years old.
But it’s not just kids and young adults who like the app.
A survey by Kantar Ibope pointed out that the app is gaining popularity among adults aged 35 to 55 and even the elderly! Tik Tok has seen a 14% increase in the number of users over 55.
In addition to being a very comprehensive social network, Tik Tok is able to hold people’s attention.
Are little ones safe on Tik Tok?
Many parents do not let their children use Tik Tok because they believe it is a threat to them. Others see no problem with children using the app.
But who is really right?
Is Tik Tok really a dangerous place for kids? Here are some points that need your attention:
1. Minimum age
The minimum age to use the app is 12 years old , however, it’s easy to create an age-tampered profile, so keep an eye out for your little one. It is not recommended that children under the age of 12 use Tik Tok.
Tik Tok has security and privacy policies , which prevent users from having contact with inappropriate content, such as nudity, pornography and violence.
The restrictions already help parents a lot in relation to the content that the little ones can have contact, however, it is necessary to be aware that not all inappropriate content is caught in the filter (or there may be a certain delay before the Tik Tok system blocks).
3. Interactions with other users
Just like every social network, Tik Tok connects acquaintances and strangers. This logic of the app can make children have contact with people with bad intentions, who want to know information about the place of residence or the habits of the family.
To solve this problem, the best way is to have access to the app to check conversations with other users and analyze who your child’s profile followers are.
Parents need to do this analysis from time to time to identify possible malicious profiles , preventing their children from starting a conversation or a virtual friendship with the wrong people.
How to keep an eye on Tik Tok?
Despite the points of attention listed above, there is no cause for extreme concern . The vast majority of Tik Tok content is friendly and does not pose any risks to your child.
But if you want to keep a close eye on everything children do in the app, just turn on parental controls .
Parental control is a feature that is available on all Tik Tok accounts for children, or rather for profiles registered by those under 18 . Simply scan a QR Code to access your child’s account details, including:
- The contents he posted;
- Direct conversations with other users;
- Application usage time.
In addition to the analysis of the above points, parental control allows parents to filter inappropriate content and even block profiles of other users so that they cannot be found by children while browsing the app.
4 recommendations for parents on using TIk Tok
In addition to using parental controls, which is the most basic and important tip for any parent who wants to monitor their use of Tik Tok, it is interesting to follow some recommendations:
The best way to understand Tik Tok and analyze the content your child consumes on the platform is to profile yourself.
Even if this isn’t your thing, don’t forget that you’re there for your child’s sake.
You don’t need to record videos or post anything to participate , you can just see what others are posting, that is, there’s no reason not to download the app and use it a little to understand what’s so attractive to children .
Using Tik Tok will also help you keep up with trendy content (to know if it’s healthy or not) and also helps you better understand how the app works.
Knowing the structure of the application is important to know where the contents are, how to filter them, how to find people, where personal messages are exchanged, etc.
2. Know which are the favorite profiles
Talk to your child and try to find out what their favorite profiles are. Then go to the profile and review the posts. After that, reflect and see if that generates an influence on the child and what kind of influence it is.
At times, a harmless profile may present some ideology that you do not agree with.
Even if it’s in jest , certain things are not funny and can’t be part of children’s sphere of influence, so pay close attention to the profiles your children like to follow the most.
3. Talk to children about the dangers
It’s worth talking to your kids and talking openly about Tik Tok threats. Talk to them about:
- The danger of talking to strangers;
- The importance of not passing on personal information, such as home address, parents’ place of work and family habits;
- The threat of internet overexposure and how it can impact children’s lives.
All these matters need to be taken seriously, and don’t forget that the intention here is to gain the child’s trust so that he or she will talk to you if any dangerous situation arises.
Avoid making this conversation too authoritative , as this can make the child afraid of a next round of conversation on the subject.
4) Access content with the hashtag #tiktoksecurity
Many content creators who participate in Tik Tok have created a hashtag to gather safety content on Tik Tok.
It’s worth taking a look so you know what professionals who work with the platform do to make the environment safer and more protected against inappropriate content.