One of the most popular social media applications is TikTok. TikTok is a fun, immersive and expressive video native app that lets users create, discover, and share short-form video content. Although the primary use of TikTok is for entertainment, it is an avenue for phishing and cyberbullying.
Some have labeled TikTok as a harmful app that should be banned. This article will discuss security risks associated with using the app and answer the question-If TikTok is safe to use and how users can avoid these potential risks.
Concerns on Inappropriate TikTok Users
- Health Issues: Some teenagers are so concerned with depressive symptoms, that they report feeling more socially isolated, anxious and physically unhealthy while frequently using Tik Tok. Depressed users use Tik Tok as a way in which to feel better.
- Cyberbullying: Some users have criticized TikTok for contributing to cyberbullying by exposing users to inappropriate content such as self-harm images or excessive body image issues.
- Phishing attacks: Fraudulent messages, sometimes referred to as phishing, are a standard method attackers use to trick others into giving up their personal information such as passwords, credit card numbers, social security, or other sensitive data. Fraudulent messages can be through email, SMS (text message), in-app message, or messaging apps.
- Data Mining: TikTok collects data from its users for marketing and advertising purposes. Unfortunately, there is no limit on the type and amount of user information it should use.
Despite concerns about safety arising from recent studies and surveys, there is no solid evidence pointing toward major safety issues when using apps such as TikTok. While there may be minor factors contributing to mental health issues when using such platforms, there does not appear to be enough evidence indicating significant matters either way.
Check this: How to Unblock Someone on Tiktok | Simple Guide
Is TikTok Safe for Kids? What Parents and Guardians Need to Know
One thing parents should watch out for when monitoring their children’s use of TikTok is internet safety issues associated with public profiles on this app. Unlike platforms such as Facebook or Instagram where only friends have access to a user’s page, all users have access to each other’s public profiles on TikTok. This means that anyone can find your child’s profile by simply searching for them through the application or through Google Search.
- Schools should ensure they do not promote apps like Tik Tok by glossing over potential negative consequences for youth behaviorally conditioned by young users themselves
- To promote this, schools should encourage face-to-face interaction instead of isolating students with their phones or tablets. Users who feel isolated through their phones are more likely to end up unhappy and depressed.
- Another factor to consider when using TikTok is that your account data is visible to anyone who has access to your phone’s camera roll. Therefore, parents should monitor their children’s phone activity when they use the app as it can expose them to inappropriate content without their knowledge.
- Additionally, they must know how to limit access to apps on their phone so that cyberbullying isn’t possible through regular apps. An important talk with the child about safe internet usage at home to understand when they can use social media or other online platforms at school or elsewhere without risking bullying from others.
Ways Parents Can Mitigate Risks of Inappropriate TikTok Users:
- Turn on Restricted mode: Restricted Mode on TikTok limits exposure to content that may not be appropriate or suitable for everyone. To turn Restricted Mode on or off:
- Tap Profile in the bottom right and Click the 3-line icon in the top right.
- Select Settings and privacy.
- Click Content Preferences, then turn Restricted Mode on.
- You will be required to input a 4-digit password to enable this. Confirm your password.
2. Set Up Family Pairing: Family Pairing on TikTok allows parents and teens to customize their safety settings based on individual needs. A parent can link their TikTok account to their teen’s and set controls including Daily screen time, restricted mode, discoverability, direct messages, comments and likes. To link parent and teen accounts:
- Click on Profile in the bottom right.
- Tap the 3-line icon in the top right.
- Select Settings and privacy, then Choose Family Pairing.
- Tap on Parent or Teen.
- Follow the steps in the app to link accounts.
Account and User Safety Measures by TikTok
TikTok’s creators are committed to making the platform a safe and enjoyable experience for everyone. As part of that, a strict set of Community Guidelines has been developed to prohibit content that affects minor safety (sexual, self-harm, etc.), dangerous acts or practices, (participating in challenges that put someone in danger, blows up or poisons, promotes violence, etc.), Suicide (self-harm, drug use, suicidal suggestions, etc.). A team of moderators review content around the clock to make sure it meets the stipulated standards.
Account and User Safety Measures by Users
- As with many mobile apps, users must maintain a strong password and good online security habits when using TikTok. First, they must choose a strong password of at least eight characters with a combination of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers and special characters. The required length should be 12 or more characters.
- 2-step verification: adds an extra layer of security to your account in case your password is compromised. It also helps protect your account from unrecognized and unauthorized devices or third-party applications.
- Check devices that have accessed your TikTok account and log out of them so no one can access their account without their permission.
- Review your Security alerts: You can keep track of recent unusual security events that you don’t recognize. To review your alerts, go to your TikTok app settings, tap Security and login, then tap Security alerts.
- Switch to Private: You can allow either members or non-members to view your account and follow.
- Don’t open any suspicious links. Always verify any links sent to you through an email or private message before opening them.
- Never trust any third-party websites that promise to give away free likes, fans, crowns, Coins, or other incentives as they may be able to take your login info.
Based on what has been discussed above about security risks related to using various forms of social media applications, you can see why users should be cautious when choosing which platform to use for entertainment purposes. No app or operating system is entirely secure since developers cannot stop potential vulnerabilities from occurring. Like other social media platforms, updates are regularly made to the app so it works better for its user base. This leads to new features or improvements for the app based on user feedback.
FAQs on Inappropriate TikTok Users
A teen must be at least 13 years of age to use TikTok. TikTok is committed to providing an age-appropriate experience, so it’s important that the user provides their real date of birth. For example, younger people are not allowed on TikTok to use certain features.
Content on TikTok first goes through technology that identifies and flags potential policy violations, such as adult nudity and violent and graphic content. When content is identified as violating its Community Guidelines, it will be automatically removed or flagged for additional review by the Safety team.
Like other social media platforms, TikTok has its share of dangers to its users. They include Phishing attacks, cyberbullying, stalking, location tracking, spyware and Scammers.
Yes. Simply visit your AppStore or PlayStore to download and use it for free.
Whilst people have accused TikTok of mining personal data, App permission is always sought from every user before this takes place and data is needed for marketing and campaign purposes.
Nothing is wrong with TikTok. With over 1.5 billion users, Many are just concerned that the fast-rising platform is spyware for the Chinese government and this has not been proven to be true.
It gathers your country’s location, Internet address and the type of device you are using. With your permission, it accesses your contacts, social media connections, and messages.
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