TikTok, being a popular app among youngsters, parents are likely to be concerned about their children viewing unusual content and interacting with strangers. Over 70 percent of users are aged 13-24. Many children under the age of 13 have been discovered on TikTok. Even though users must be at least 13 years old to log in, kids manage to fake their age and sign up for TikTok.
While TikTok is a huge platform for sharing videos and marketing, parents are concerned about whether it is an appropriate platform for young children or not. According to Qustodio’s Research on popular parental control apps, children spend an average of 80 minutes per day on TikTok. Keeping these things as a primary concern of parents, TikTok has added some parental control for younger children’s safety and privacy concerns.
What is TikTok?
TikTok is the most popular video creating and sharing app. It allows users to create their own music and duet with other users. Most users are teenagers and young adults. Because of its growing popularity, TikTok is increasingly being used as a marketing channel as well.
Although it is a fun and entertaining app, some people with ill intentions tend to misuse the app or share inappropriate content on the platform. As a parent, all you could do is set parental control to keep your child safe on TikTok. Thanks to the few parental controls that TikTok offers to its users. You can go through their account to adjust their privacy settings and set time limits on the app if your kids are overusing it.
How to set parental controls on TikTok?
In response to parents’ growing concern, TikTok first introduced the Digital Wellbeing feature, where you can restrict inappropriate content and limit app usage. TikTok also provided an app specially designed for age under 13 to make videos but not post them in public.
Though TikTok has an age restriction upon sign-up, parents recognized that it could be easily bypassed. And back to 2020 where TikTok hit a huge success where its users reached more than 1 billion. Many users got popular as an influencer with their creation. While TikTok is used for entertainment purposes, kids can take these types of apps seriously.
According to the reports, a 9-year-old kid sent over gifts that almost cost more than £2000. And also, BBC Panorama raised a concern about how online predators targeted 14-year-old girls to sent inappropriate DMs.
These reasons have raised concerns among parents that only age verification is not going to protect minors. So TikTok has introduced a new feature, “Family pairing”. Family pairing allows you to link your account to your kid’s TikTok account. Here’s how you can enable the feature to protect your children on TikTok.
- Open the TikTok app on your and your child’s phone.
- Go to the user profile at the bottom-right corner of your screen. And tap on the three-line icon on top of the page.
- Scroll down to Family Pairing and tap on it.
- Select phones as parent’s device or child’s device.
- If you select a parent’s device, you will get a QR code. Scan from the child’s device to link the accounts.
- Now, as a parent device, you can access the security features of your child’s account.
How does Family Pairing work?
After you link your child’s account to your account, you will be able to manage your child’s privacy and safety settings. Here’s what you can do with the Family Pairing.
Screen Time Management
You can manage your child’s TikTok watch time by setting time limits. With Family Pairing, you can remotely manage their activities. However, you can also set time limits on your child’s TikTok by following these steps:
- Open TikTok on your child’s device and go to the profile
- Tap on the three-line icon and select Digital Wellbeing.
- Tap on Screen Time Management and click on the Turn on button to enable the feature.
- Set a passcode to lock the setting. Now, the time limit is set to 60 minutes.
TikTok also has Direct messaging, which allows you kids to communicate with their friends and strangers. So, with the help of Family Pairing, you can either turn off DMs or allow only friends to message them. You can directly adjust this setting on your child’s TikTok account.
- Open TikTok and go to the profile.
- Tap on the three-line icon at the top-right of the page and click on the Privacy setting.
- Select a Private account to keep your child’s videos private and scroll down to Direct messages.
- Tap on Direct messages and select who can send you messages. Choose Freinds or turn off as you wish.
TikTok’s for you page shows all the videos according to your interests. You can restrict the content on For You page that can be inappropriate for kids. You can enable restricted mode by following these steps:
- Open TikTok and go to the profile.
- As earlier, tap on the three-line icon and scroll down to view Digital Wellbeing.
- Select Restricted Mode and turn it on.
- Set a passcode and confirm it to enable the Restricted Mode
However, your child can easily disable the Family Pairing, but you will receive a notification. In that case, you can use some popular Parental Control applications such as MobileSpy, Qustodio, Family Time, and Net Nanny. Parental control applications allow you to keep a tab on every activity of your child’s device and view everything they share on TikTok, including messages, videos, stories, and multimedia messages.
Why do you need parental controls?
Parental control helps you ensure your kids are safe on an online platform. There is no denying that social media and cyberbullying go hand in hand. Many of us have faced some cyberbullying.
You can keep track of the TikTok account and its activities as kids spend most of their idle time on smartphones. And we know how continuous screen time can damage our eyes. It also leads to other health issues and can harm their mental health.
Tiktok is a great platform to share your video creation, ideas, and your work. However, you cannot avoid the threats for younger kids like harassment, bullying, and TikTok addiction. These security threats may make parents worried at the same time. But don’t worry, you don’t need to be a tech expert to keep your children safe on TikTok. And the good thing is TikTok offers some parental controls to keep your kids safe from inappropriate content and strangers.