E-Safety - TIK-TOK

21st October 2019

TikTok: everything you need to know about the video production app

People aged 13 and over can download the app which has a 12+ rating in app stores - though, as, with other age-restricted platforms, parents need to ensure their children are the appropriate age to use TikTok.

For further advice regarding on-line safety please visit:
 
https://parentzone.org.uk/parent-info

You may have heard of Musical.ly (think of it as a kind of karaoke platform). TikTok is the new name for the expanded version of the app, which enables users to upload, watch and create short videos of between three and 60 seconds. Here’s what you need to know:

From musical.ly to TikTok:

  • Until recently, Musical.ly was used by millions of people to express themselves through singing, dancing and comedy.

  • On 2 August 2018, Musical.ly merged with TikTok to create a 'bigger and better short-video community'.

  • Musical.ly users moved automatically to TikTok.

  • TikTok was the world's most downloaded app in the first quarter of 2018, with a million downloads. It has more than 500 million users globally.


What’s the best way to help children stay safe on TikTok?

The best way to keep your child safe is to be as informed about the app as you can, particularly about its safety and digital wellbeing features. Find out what your child uses it for and talk to them about what they enjoy about it.

There are some practical considerations to bear in mind when discussing TikTok with your child:

1) Make sure your child is old enough to use the app.

2) If your child has their account set to ‘public’, be sure they understand what this really means. The ‘private’ setting, allowing your child to share their content only with approved followers, may be the safer option. Be sure to discuss with your child whom they allow to follow them. If they’re accepting requests from people they don’t know, this could expose them to risk. You can make your profile private by clicking on the profile tab in the app, then go to the three-dot menu in the top-right corner, click on 'Privacy and Safety', then toggle 'Private account'.

3) It’s worth making sure that your child knows how to keep their identity secure, by for instance not including any personal information, such as name, address, phone number or age in their profile. Make sure they know not to film videos wearing their school uniform or personalised clothing, and that they shouldn’t give out personal information. They should be particularly aware of the location they film in, and not film outside their home, which might mean inadvertently revealing where they live.

4) Make sure your child knows how to report inappropriate content and that they should speak to a trusted adult if they have any concerns about anything on the app.  If you or your child want to report a specific video, click on the 'share' icon in the bottom-left corner of the video, then click report and follow the on-screen instructions.