The wild-and-wacky short videos of “TikTok” continue to gain popularity among kids, adults, and even celebrities. But the app has had some problems, such as illegally collecting data on users under 13, notoriously inappropriate comments, and kludgy settings that can leave you with unwanted followers. Still, its viral “challenges,” creative tools, and just-plain-fun features mean your kids are probably going to want it. Check out these easy tips to help you manage your kid’s “TikTok” experience.
Make sure tweens use their real age to create an account. If you’re going to allow your tweens to join “TikTok,” insist that they register with their actual birth date. The app offers a limited experience for users under 13 where they can watch videos and create their own clips for private viewing, free from the data tracking the company collects on users over 13. However, access to that area of the app only requires the user to enter a birth date — and there’s nothing to prevent older users from joining as an under-13-year-old.
— Have fun using the app together with younger kids. It’s a great way to spend quality media time together. Plus you can supervise them and advise them on responsible use so they have good habits when they get older.
The following settings are located in the Privacy and Settings section. To get there, go to your kid’s profile page and click the three-dot icon (“ … ”) on the top right.
Make your kid’s account private. “TikTok” accounts are public by default, meaning anyone can see your videos, send you direct messages, and post comments. Help kids turn on privacy settings so only people they know can interact with their videos or message them on the app.
— Select Privacy and Safety. There, toggle the switch for “Private Account.”
Limit comments. “TikTok” comments can be inappropriate. Restrict the audience that can post comments on kids’ videos to Friends only — or turn them off entirely.
— Again, select Privacy and Safety. Scroll down to Who Can Send Me Comments and and choose your setting.
Limit time and inappropriate content. “TikTok” offers features to help limit kids’ time on the app as well as videos that may be inappropriate. You can protect these settings with a passcode so kids can’t change them back.
— Select Digital Wellbeing next to the icon of an umbrella. There you’ll see settings for Screen Time Management and Restricted Mode.
Delete “TikTok.” Unlike other apps, “TikTok” has a few steps to follow to delete your account. You have to input a special code before you can disable it.
— Select Manage My Account. Add a phone number if you haven’t already. Then tap “Thinking about removing your account?” at the bottom of the screen. Choose “Send Code” to receive a text message with the verification code. Enter the number, then select Continue. Choose Continue once again for a final confirmation that you want to delete your account, then tap Delete Account.
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