How to Make TikTok Safe for Kids

Introduction

While TikTok can be a great creative outlet for kids, there’s a lot of content on that platform that they have no business looking at, and a lot of questionable people you probably don’t want them interacting with. Thankfully, TikTok has a family pairing feature that lets you link your child’s TikTok account to your TikTok account, and let you apply a variety of parental control settings to make TikTok safer for your kids. You’ll be able to set how much time your child can spend on TikTok each day, turn on a restricted mode that filters out some inappropriate content, restrict who can comment on your child’s videos or message your child on TikTok and more. Examples of all instructions in the steps can be seen in the YouTube video below.

YouTube player

Steps to Make TikTok Safe for Kids

  1. First, you’ll need to have your child create a TikTok account on their device. I won’t cover those steps here, but after you create their account on that device, move ahead to Step 2.
  2. Open the TikTok app on your smart device, or the device of the parent or guardian you want to have access to the parental controls to control your child’s TikTok account.
  3. Tap the icon featuring three horizontal lines at the top of the screen to open the Settings and Privacy menu.
  4. Scroll down to the Content and Activity section, and then tap “Family Pairing” in this section. The Keeping TikTok Family Friendly screen is displayed, showing you how you’ll be able to control your child’s TikTok settings so they’ll have a safer experience on TikTok.
  5. Tap “Continue” to move forward. The Family Pairing screen is shown.
  6. Tap to select “Parent,” and then tap “Next.” A Link Accounts screen is displayed.
  7. Keep the Link Accounts screen open on your smart device, and then open the TikTok app on your child’s device. To be clear, we’ll be using your child’s device’s for the next few following steps.
  8. Tap the menu icon at the top of the screen to land on the Settings and Privacy screen on your child’s device, and then scroll down to the Content and Activity section and tap “Family Pairing.” The Keeping TikTok Family Friendly screen is displayed.
  9. Tap “Continue” on this screen. The Family Pairing screen is shown.
  10. Tap to select “Teen,” and then tap “Next.” A screen prompting you to scan the QR code displayed in the screen on the TikTok app of the parent or guardian is shown.
  11. Scan the QR code displayed in the screen on the TikTok app of the parent or guardian. A prompt is displayed asking if you want to link your child’s TikTok account to your TikTok account.
  12. Tap “Link Accounts.” A dialog box is displayed confirming that you want to link these accounts. Tap “Link.” The Family Pairing screen is displayed on your child’s device. Now let’s go back to looking at the TikTok app on your parent or guardian device, where you’ll now see your child’s account listed in your linked TikTok accounts.
  13. Tap the name of your child’s TikTok account on your screen to see parental control options. The Manage This Account screen is shown.
  14. Tap “Screen Time Management” to bring up a screen where you can set a screen time limit for how much time your child can spend on TikTok each day.
  15. Tap “Restricted Mode” to see the option to turn on restricted mode, which will limit showing inappropriate content. Additionally, while restricted mode is turned on, your child won’t be able to switch to use a different TikTok account.
  16. Tap “Search” to bring up a screen where you can toggle off your child’s ability to search TikTok.
  17. Tap “Privacy and Safety” to see a screen where you can make your child’s account private, choose whether your child’s account is suggested to other users, control who can send direct messages to your child, choose who can see your child’s liked videos, and control who can comment on your child’s TikTok videos.

If you need to make changes going forward you can navigate back to the Family Pairing screen and tap your child’s account at any time.

What Are the Risks Associated with Children Using TikTok?

1. Exposure to Inappropriate or Harmful Content

Children using TikTok can be exposed to violent, sexual, or bullying content that can have a negative impact on their mental and emotional health. The app’s algorithm can suggest inappropriate content to children, even if they are not searching for it. It is important for parents to monitor their children’s activity and set limits on what they can view.

2. Cyberbullying and Harassment

TikTok users, including children, can be subjected to cyberbullying and harassment by other users. This can cause significant emotional distress and impact a child’s self-esteem. Parents should encourage their children to speak up if they experience cyberbullying and report it to TikTok and relevant authorities.

3. Targeting by Online Bad Actors

Children are at risk of being targeted by online predators and subjected to online grooming. Predators may use TikTok to contact and manipulate children, posing as other children or adults. It is essential for parents to monitor their children’s activity on the app and educate them on online safety.

4. Spending Too Much Time on TikTok

TikTok addiction can lead to excessive screen time and negatively impact a child’s mental and physical health. Children may struggle to manage their time and prioritize other activities such as exercise and sleep. Parents should encourage their children to take breaks and set limits on the amount of time they spend on the app.

5. Sharing of Personal Information and Location Data

Children may unwittingly share personal information and location data on TikTok, putting them at risk of being tracked and contacted by strangers. It is important for parents to educate their children on the risks of sharing personal information online and help them set privacy settings.

6. Pressure to Conform to Unrealistic Beauty Standards

TikTok can create pressure for children to conform to unrealistic beauty standards and participate in dangerous “challenges.” Parents should educate their children on body positivity and self-love and discourage participation in challenges that can be harmful.

7. Loss of Privacy and Control of Personal Information

Children may lose control over their personal information, images, and videos that can be shared and used without their knowledge or consent. Parents should educate their children on the importance of consent and control over their own personal data.

Four Reasons Parents Should Use Parental Controls to Make TikTok Safer for Kids

1. Protect Against Inappropriate or Harmful Content

As parents, guardians, and responsible adults, it is our primary duty to ensure that children are not exposed to any form of inappropriate or harmful content. The rise of social media platforms like TikTok has brought about new challenges in this regard, especially since it is primarily used by young people. Children are particularly vulnerable to the effects of violent, sexual, or bullying content, which can have long-term psychological impacts.

To make TikTok safe for kids, it is essential to put measures in place to prevent the spread of such content. This can include content moderation, stricter community guidelines, and age verification. Additionally, educating children on how to identify and report harmful content can help prevent them from engaging with such content.

2. Prevent Kids from Being Targeted by Bad Actors

One of the most significant risks that children face on social media platforms like TikTok is the threat of being targeted by predators or being subjected to online grooming. This can lead to physical harm, emotional trauma, and long-term negative effects on their mental health. It is therefore important to take active measures to protect children from such risks.

Making TikTok safe for kids requires increased vigilance and awareness of the dangers of online predators. This can include implementing strict privacy settings, limiting the type of information that can be shared, and monitoring online activities. It is also important to educate children on the dangers of online predators and how to protect themselves from such risks.

3. Maintain Mental Well-Being

The mental and emotional well-being of children is critical for their healthy development. Exposure to negative or harmful content on TikTok can have a significant impact on their self-esteem, body image, and overall mental health. It is therefore essential to create a positive and supportive online environment for children to express themselves creatively and interact with others.

To make TikTok safe for kids, it is crucial to promote positive and healthy content that encourages self-expression and creativity. This can include initiatives that promote body positivity, self-care, and positive role models. Additionally, providing resources for mental health support and education can help children navigate any negative experiences they may encounter on the platform.

4. Create a Positive Environment

TikTok offers a unique opportunity for children to express themselves creatively and interact with others. However, it is essential to ensure that the online environment is positive and supportive for them to do so. This can include fostering a sense of community, encouraging positive interactions, and providing opportunities for creative expression.

To make TikTok safe for kids, it is important to promote healthy online behaviors that encourage positive interactions and self-expression. This can include initiatives that promote community building, education on digital citizenship, and opportunities for creative expression. Additionally, providing resources for conflict resolution and effective communication can help children navigate any negative experiences they may encounter on the platform.

About Max

Max has nearly 20 years of experience working in IT across three different industries in project management and management capacities: publishing, telecommunications and healthcare. He holds the following degrees and certifications: BS Communications, MA Communications, MBA and Project Management Professional (PMP). His tutorial-focused YouTube channel earned more than 100,000 subscribers in its first four years, and currently has more than 160,000 subscribers, 110,000,000 video views and an insane 2.4 million hours of watch time. Max enjoys learning new technology, reading and collecting comic books, listening to audiobooks and playing video games.

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