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Is TikTok Safe for Kids? A Beginner’s Guide for Parents

As a parent, it can be difficult to keep up with the newest social media trends. But TikTok has not only become a viral sensation, it also made international headlines in 2020 for attracting the attention of the US government.

Since its userbase is mostly under the age of 25, you’re probably wondering, is TikTok safe for kids? Here’s what to know about the app and what parental controls are available.

What Is TikTok?

TikTok is a social media app that lets you create short videos, set them to music, and share them with the world. It’s easy to learn how to use TikTok and users can upload videos up to 10 minutes long. Of course, like any social media platform, you can browse, like, share, and comment on posts, as well as follow channels you enjoy.

While there are always trending categories like #HolidayMusic or #Covid19, you’ll find a variety of topics to suit your interests, like animals, recipes, self-improvement, or fitness. TikTok is even testing out a new educational initiative called Learn.

TikTok for Kids: Is TikTok Safe for Kids?

For kids, the entertainment value in this app is high. It’s got music, dancing, humor, and pets being hilarious. Kids like it because they can show off their own creativity and have fun watching their friends.

For teens, it’s a great way to express themselves, share interests, and find amusing clips from others. But due to its public and online nature, it’s normal for parents to wonder whether it’s safe for kids to use.

TikTok Age Limit

While TikTok is popular among young people, this doesn’t mean that the app is suitable for kids of every age or very young children.

If you’re curious about the TikTok age limit, account holders need to be at least 13 years of age. When it comes to family-friendliness, you’ll want to keep an eye on how your kids are using the app.

But why is TikTok bad for kids? Since it accesses a lot of popular music and anyone can create videos, it’s possible for kids to come across inappropriate content such as profanity and suggestive material that isn’t appropriate for their age.

As with any platform, there are always risks associated with sharing personal information, opportunities for cyberbullying, and the potential for exposure to dangerous behaviors. Before using any social media, parents and children should have open and honest conversations about the risks involved.

But fortunately, there are ways to make TikTok safer for kids.

TikTok Parental Controls: Family Pairing

If your younger teens are using TikTok and you’re concerned, there are parental controls you can use. TikTok’s Family Pairing settings help parents safeguard certain privacy settings on their young teens’ accounts and allow parents to limit the amount of time spent in the app.

You can find the Family Pairing setting in your account settings:

  1. Tap the Profile icon in the bottom-right corner of the screen.
  2. Now tap the three-bar Menu in the top-right corner of the screen and select Settings and privacy.
  3. In the Settings and privacy menu, scroll down to Family Pairing. Here, you can link your and your teen’s account.

This doesn’t act as a surveillance tool. Rather, it lets you set the privacy settings for their account and restrict adult content.

You can find out more about different settings to enable and disable below.

Privacy Settings for Teens’ Accounts

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