14 min read by Bogdi
published 10 luni în urmă, updated 10 luni în urmă
TikTok is the most popular social media platform for teenagers in the world. However, before your kids are teenagers, you'll need to control what they're exposed to on the platform. While there are some fun videos for kids to watch, there are a lot of inappropriate videos too.
Parental controls can be set on TikTok by using Restricted or Family Pairing Mode. Control can also be achieved by disabling followers and comments. Parental controls are important for kids who use TikTok since TikTok can expose them to cybersecurity risks, sexual content, and other dangers.
Putting restrictions on your kid's TikTok account can help keep them safe, but only if you know how to do it effectively. Read on to learn more about how parental controls on TikTok work and how you can protect your children when they use it.
Before you get started setting up your child their own TikTok account, you should note that there are age restrictions associated with use of the social media platform. TikTok does not allow users under the age of thirteen, so if your child is under the age of thirteen, then they don't need to have their own TikTok account.
If your child is thirteen or older, they're old enough to have their own TikTok account. However, if they're under the age of eighteen, they'll still need a parent or guardian's approval and verification to use the website.
Even if you don't put in deliberate parental controls on your child's account, TikTok automatically puts restrictions on any profiles it has of users below the age of thirteen. Here's an overview of how profiles are restricted based on user age range (Source: TikTok Support):
While the options for TikTok users between 16-17 do open up significantly, this doesn't mean that teenagers get free rein on TikTok. Users under 18 can still have their options restricted by linking their account to a parental account.
Kids under the age of 13 are still able to use some aspects of TikTok. However, their experience with the platform is much more heavily curated. Here are some of the restrictions placed on TikTok users under 13:
The children's version of TikTok is fairly safe for children even without parental controls. However, the problem with this is that bypassing the age restriction is easy by just putting in a false birth date. It's not exactly the most foolproof system against underaged kids who are tech savvy and want to access the full platform.
The adult version of TikTok is not age appropriate for users under 13. TikTok is a social media platform that is geared primarily towards teenagers and young adults. While there is a curated version of TikTok available for kids, this version of TikTok is not popular and many kids will attempt to bypass parental controls to get full access to the site. (Source: Common Sense Media)
If you're worried about your kids looking up sexual content or porn on TikTok, it's not something you have to worry about. While there are a lot of people dancing on TikTok in sometimes suggestive or skimpy clothing, the platform doesn't allow any user to look up videos based on pornography or sexual content.
Restricting your child's TikTok activity or monitoring it might seem like an intrusive act, but there are many reasons why users under the age of 18 should have their behavior monitored online while they learn to use the Internet responsibly.
Here are just a few of the reasons why TikTok activities should be restricted and controlled for kids:
There are lots of fun things about TikTok-otherwise, it wouldn't be one of the most popular sites on the planet. But there is a darker side of TikTok too that you don't want your kids exposed to before they're old enough and mature enough to handle it.
There has been much talk recently about how TikTok potentially poses a cybersecurity threat. At one point, there was even talk in the international news of this social media platform being banned in the United States due to concerns over its Chinese ownership and related data-mining activities.
TikTok is not a completely secure digital platform, despite the parental controls it has put into place. Any social media website you use for free is allowing you to use it in exchange for your data, a valuable product it can then sell to third-party buyers in marketing and other industries.
Because of these cybersecurity threats, the best way for your child to use TikTok is to avoid putting their personal identifying information on their profile. This means keeping their real name, address, phone number, and other intimate details off the website completely. This is a concept that should be taught to kids early to help them avoid digital exploitation.
The information that can be pulled from a person's TikTok account may not be incriminating for a teenager, but it's important to teach your kids early how to protect their own privacy online. This can help prevent them from getting involved in digital blackmail, cyberbullying, and worse.
While your child might not be happy about the idea of having their account set to private until they're eighteen, this is one of the easiest ways to protect them through TikTok's parental controls. When the child's profile is set to private, these are the restrictions that are put into place:
Luckily, setting your child's TikTok profile is a simple process. Use the following procedure to change your child's user profile to Private:
When it comes to children on TikTok, it's often other people you have to worry about. If other users start following your child and your child follows them back or befriends them, this can leave your child vulnerable to direct messages from a stranger who may or may not have their best interests at heart.
There are a few ways that the parental controls on TikTok allow parents to control their children's followers:
If you don't want to attach your own TikTok profile to your child's TikTok profile or you want to leave your teenager's account open to receiving follow requests, you can monitor your child's followers by watching their profile and investigating anyone who tries to follow them.
Another way for parents to protect their child's TikTok account is to prevent them from putting their real name or other personal information on their TikTok account.
The way that TikTok profiles are set up, your child doesn't have to put their real name on the front of their profile for everyone to see. This can help keep them anonymous and protect their personal data even after they get old enough to have a full TikTok attached to their real name.
Restricted Mode is an available filter on TikTok that you can turn on in your child's profile that helps keep inappropriate content out of your child's TikTok feed. It also prevents your child from being able to message other users on TikTok, and it prevents other users from being able to message them.
The easiest way for parents to apply Restricted Mode to their child's account is to use the Family Pairing mode. Family Pairing makes it easier for parents to control and customize every aspect of their child's TikTok experience.
Family Pairing is TikTok's master parental control program, and it's probably the easiest of their parental control protocols to use. It does require you to have access to both your account and your child's account to activate.
Family Pairing is a way that you can sync up your parental TikTok profile as the master profile to your child's TikTok profile. This allows you to act as a manager for your child's account and all of its Digital Wellbeing options such as screen time limitations, Restricted Mode, and keeping the account private.
The Family Pairing setting is an improvement on TikTok's previous parental controls, which allowed you to control your child's privacy settings but only by accessing their profile through their device. By syncing your child's device up to your own TikTok profile, you can adjust their privacy settings or override their screen time limitations remotely.
Here's how to set up a Family Pairing sync on your TikTok (Source: We Live Security):
Once you've synced your TikTok profile with your child's TikTok profile using Family Pairing, it's simple enough to keep control of what they do on the platform. Restricting your child's access to direct messages, R-rated content, and being followed by strangers can make a huge impact on keeping your child safer online.
One of the best things about the parental controls system on TikTok is that it allows parents to monitor and control their child's comments and followers. When your child is interacting with TikTok, the greatest threat comes from other users rather than the child's own activities.
Here are a few tips for helping to control your child's comments and followers on TikTok:
At first your child may feel like your parental controls are too restrictive, especially if they're not allowed to have followers or comments. But a few years of online monitoring is well worth the trouble if it can prevent your child from running into trouble on social media.
When it comes to letting your kid use TikTok, it isn't just inappropriate content you have to worry about. Many preteens and teenagers become addicted to social media platforms like TikTok and Instagram and can spend way too much time on the website. These are just a few of the reasons why you should consider restricting the amount of time your child spends on TikTok (Source: Very Well Health):
So how do you limit the amount of time your child spends on TikTok? TikTok conveniently comes with a screen time management mode that allows either the user or their parent to restrict the amount of time spent on the app per day.
Screen Management allows you to set limitations on your child's TikTok so that they're restricted to anywhere from 40-120 minutes of screen time. Screen Management allows the child to use TikTok past the time limit, but it requires the entry of a passcode from the parent before they can override the restriction.
To set screen time limits for your child on TikTok, use the following procedure (Source: Connect Safely):
You're likely to hear more griping from kids about time restrictions on your child's TikTok account than any other parental control you use. However, teaching your kids about healthy interactions with social media can help prevent them from developing any related mental difficulties related to excessive social media dependency in the future.
One of the best ways to exert parental control over your child when they're using TikTok is to use TikTok together with your child. The Family Pairing mode helps facilitate this, but there's also a few other ways you can help your child learn how to interact with TikTok safely even when you're not actively monitoring their profile:
If you've never had a TikTok account before and your child wants to register, you might be a little clueless about how the platform works. Knowing the technology your child uses and how they're likely to engage with it can give you a better understanding of how to protect them when they're using it.
When it comes to setting up parental controls for social media or other online activities, monitoring and enforcement is only half the battle. While it's easy enough to restrict activities on TikTok through its parental controls, you might have to deal with some resistance (or at least some whining) if you're not smart about getting your kids on board.
The biggest problem with forcing parental controls on your children or teenagers without their consent is that many are tech savvy enough to find ways around parental controls, such as setting up accounts in secret and lying about their birth date during registration. Other than monitoring all of your child's online activities all the time, there's no way to prevent this.
Instead, it's a good idea to help your kids see that parental controls are meant to be helpful to them, not a burden. You aren't monitoring their activities to keep them from having a good time, you're doing it to keep them safe.
Here are a few ways to make the transition to parental controls easier on your kids (Source: Canopy):
Parental controls can receive some considerable kickback from teenagers who feel that their autonomy is threatened. Showing your child that you trust them and you're willing to let them have a private life online while also monitoring them is a balancing act that requires regular communication to keep positive.
Even if you don't have any personal interest in having a TikTok account of your own, it's crucial for you to learn how the website and its parental controls work. Children are vulnerable to many negative scenarios when they interact with a social media platform, and it's your responsibility to make sure that they stay safe whenever they're online.
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