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Is TikTok Safe for Kids? Guide for Parents

TikTok is a popular social media platform that allows users to create, share, and even discover short videos, usually between 15 seconds and 3 minutes. “Entertainment” is the most popular category on TikTok around the globe, along with other categories like pranks, DIY, dance, and fitness/sports. TikTokers use hashtags to make their videos more discoverable while corresponding to current events, challenges, and memes such as #funnyvideos.

Of course, as a parent, TikTok may be a part of your family’s life whether you know it or now. Some parents find out that their child is using TikTok only when a child starts asking questions like how can you grow your TikTok account for free and talks about TikTok trends and creators. However, you may worry about TikTok being an unsafe social media site for kids or tweens. Therefore, this article will guide parents and answer the most commonly asked questions related to TikTok. Keep reading to learn!

How Safe Is TikTok?

Every social media app comes with risks for kids when used without adult supervision and additional care. To keep TikTok a safe place for kids, it has come up with several rules.

If a TikTok user is aged below 13, they won’t be able to post comments or videos on this app. Moreover, the content is also limited to suit the preferences of a younger audience.

For users aged between 13 and 15 years old, their accounts are automatically kept private to make sure only their added friends can watch their videos and post comments while preventing other users from making a duet with their videos.

In addition to this, you should keep in mind that TikTok offers parental controls and restricted modes to further keep your children’s activity safe and sound on this social media site.

Is TikTok Appropriate for Kids?

Again, TikTok can offer quite a child-friendly experience if you, as a parent, take extra care and supervise their activities by leveraging parental features developed by this platform. However, since TikTok promotes the latest trending songs, which may include swearing words and dirty lyrics, they can be inappropriate for kids.

In addition, children may find dancing videos with inappropriate dance steps and revealing clothes. As long as you supervise your kid’s TikTok activity, they may be able to limit this kind of content to some extent.

Can Children Under 13 Use TikTok?

In general, no kid under the age of 13 should be allowed to be on any social media app. However, as social media is quite a trend nowadays, kids are tempted to have their accounts, too, especially TikTok.

Although TikTok’s Terms of Service requires users to be at least 13 years old to sign up, TikTok has created an additional safety and privacy feature for children under 13 in the US who want to use this app. They won’t be able to post, comment, or even search for any videos and can only view age-appropriate videos.

Still, it’s not hard for children to bypass this feature by creating an account using a fake date of birth.

How Do Parental Controls on TikTok Work?

What’s great about TikTok is that the parent controls features, such as family pairing and restricted mode, significantly facilitate you in managing your kids’ accounts to ensure their social media footprint on TikTok is safe and secure.

In order to enable these features, you simply need to log in to your account, tap on the three lines on the top-right side of your profile, and then “settings and privacy.” “Content preferences” and “digital well-being” will give you better control of the app for your peace of mind.

Nevertheless, here are the most important features that parents should know:

Screen Time Management. This setting allows you to manage the screen time of your children and let them use this app only for a certain number of hours.

Restricted Mode. With this feature on, you can restrict your children from accessing mature content and only watch age-appropriate videos.  

Family pairing. You, as a parent, can link your TikTok account with your children’s accounts to monitor their app activity and enable and control various security settings.

Don’t forget to use a secret passcode that will be only known to you, and lock these settings to make sure your kids aren’t able to change them.

Teach Your Children How to Stay Safe Online

Since children still may find a way to dodge parental controls by making their private account public, changing the settings, or creating a new account from scratch, you must talk to them about staying safe online by educating them.

You should talk to them openly and use this app together with them. Checking their friend list and online activity will allow you to track their social media activities better, but you shouldn’t overlook the significance of spreading online safety awareness and its risks to them. 

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