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Guide: TikTok Parental Controls: Everything you need to know
Recently, I came across a video in TikTok where a five-year-old hit his mother and laughed. At first glance, it may seem funny to some people. I found it quite disturbing and worrisome. What if my niece opened the app instead of me? Because the interpretation of videos and songs is very different for children.
With repeated exposure to violent videos, the youth may be emotionally upset and assume that such behavior is permissible in the real world.
The rising popularity of such short video apps like TikTok has opened the floodgates of user generated videos. And some may not be suitable for children. So how do you make sure your child doesn’t accidentally watch them while using TikTok?
Note: TikTok requires account holders to be over 12 years old.
Fortunately, like many media-centric apps like YouTube and Netflix, TikTok also participates in privacy settings and parental controls.
In this post today, we’ve explored several settings (and a few third-party options) that make TikTok a slightly more secure platform. Before we see how they work, though, let’s take a look at why parental controls are needed.back to menu ↑
Why is parental controls necessary?
As we mentioned above, the Internet is home to billions of videos, songs, books and games. Since the Internet is so easily accessible, it is very easy for children to be exposed to inappropriate media items. This can be in the form of a violent game, absurd challenges, audio tracks with explicit lyrics, or videos with adult content.
Parental controls protect children and young people online by filtering out inappropriate songs, videos and other media assets. And it doesn’t stop there. You can also block specific apps, filter app content, lock specific functions of your Android device, or password protect an app for a specific time of the day or week. Or, if the need arises, you can also set up network level checks.
In short, there are many options when it comes to parental controls. Let’s take a look at how parental controls work on TikTok.back to menu ↑
1. Switch to a private account
By default, TikTok creates a public profile so that anyone on TikTok can view your videos. Again, interpretation is key here. A funny video can be seen as something completely different by others.
Cool Tip: At the same time, you can turn off the “Allow others to find me” switch if you are wary of your child meeting random strangers online.back to menu ↑
2. Change who can download and comment on videos
There is a default setting that allows anyone to download videos posted on public profiles. Creepy level = 100 I would say.
Fortunately, TikTok stops that through its privacy settings. Navigate to Privacy and Safety and uncheck Allow Download.
While you’re at it, don’t forget to check the ‘Who can comment’ and ‘Who can reply to me’ options as well.back to menu ↑
3. Check the list of followers
TikTok videos can be funny, and they certainly are huge mood boosters. But if you’re not careful about your child’s viewing activities, they can end up view content they shouldn’t. In such cases, you may want to check the accounts being tracked.
To do this, go to Profile and tap Follow. Tap the following button no longer follow.
Your child’s viewing history inspires the videos in the For You section, and there is no setting that lets you choose the video categories that are right for your child. Therefore, the only option is to change viewing habits or opt for Restricted Mode.back to menu ↑
4. Enable Restricted Mode
Limited mode is one of the hidden ones features from TikTok. As the name suggests, the mode ensures that TikTok displays age-appropriate videos and filters mature content. This feature is useful if your child spends hours watching random videos from the For you section. While the algorithm does its best to filter out potentially inappropriate videos, Restricted Mode alone is not a foolproof solution.
Note: TikTok decides what type of content is age-appropriate or not, and there’s no way to tell if that’s through human intervention or automatically.
Another feature what helps to keep an eye on the media consumption is Screen Time Management. This feature requires the user to enter a password after two hours of use per day. Pretty cool I would say.
You can find these settings under Profile> Settings> Digital wellbeing.
When activated, the app will prompt the user to enter a predefined passcode to continue using TikTok after the set limit has been reached. Both options also require you to set a PIN or passcode before enabling them.back to menu ↑
5. Set up a downtime
Frankly, the above methods are not enough. It makes sense to leave the app and look at some external options such as Stay Focused. It’s one of those new apps that not only limits the time spent on apps like TikTok, but also tracks the number of times the apps are launched or opened.
Stay Focused also allows you to block apps for good at any given time. For example, if you don’t want your child to open TikTok during school time, you can set the timer for that. In addition, there is another cool feature which also completely blocks the said app after launching it a certain number of times.
To make these changes, you just need to open Stay Focused, select the app and choose the appropriate options.
There is no built-in setting to lock the app. The good news is you can enable strict mode to prevent the child from changing an app setting. In addition, you can also create a password to prevent the app from being deleted.
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6. Set an app lock
Most phones Nowadays there is an app locker pre-installed that allows you to lock specific apps. This feature is designed to protect data on a particular app from the prying eyes of others by using a screen lock PIN or password to lock the app.
Cool fact: A few Samsung phones allow users to configure an individual app lock pattern.back to menu ↑
Prevention is better than cure
The online world is not a safe place for children. At the same time, it would be wrong to assume that you can prevent them from going online. And therefore precaution is the only way forward.
While all apps and settings do their job, it always helps to keep an eye on app usage manually. If you’re using iOS, check it out how to use Screen Time to set up parental supervision.
The next up: Want to apply better browsing restrictions on Windows 10? Check out our guide which allows you to block most websites and whitelist approved websites for different browsers on Windows 10 computer.back to menu ↑
TikTok Parental Controls: Everything you need to know: benefits
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