Move aside, Facebook and Instagram—TikTok is the newest fad. How safe is it for your kids?
TikTok can offer harmless fun, but may also pose safety and privacy concerns for children. So, should your child have an account? Catherine Stachniak, psychology fellow at St. Louis Children’s Hospital, says it depends. Parents should consider their child’s age, maturity level and intentions for the app. “Social media has become embedded in young peoples’ lives,” Stachniak says. “It may be unrealistic to have your kids completely avoid social media.
Instead, keep an open dialogue with your children and determine their own appropriate level of participation in TikTok.” Stachniak provides four tips for parents about how to make TikTok safer:
- Create a shared family TikTok account. Allow your child to use the app under your supervision.
- Customize their account. You can change your child’s account to private, sync her account to your own and block mature content.
- Join in on the fun. Participate in dances and challenges together on the app. This keeps curious kids away from suggestive content and makes for a fun family activity.
- Teach your kids how to responsibly use social media. Show them how to recognize and skip inappropriate content. Even with kid-friendly settings in place, children can often find a way around them. Have regular conversations with your kids about how to stay safe online.
TikTok is a social media app that combines music with short form video. Users can watch, create and share 15- to 60-second videos about anything from life tips to education content. A popular use for the app is to share choreographed dances to hit songs.