Privacy on TikTok: How to protect you and your family

–– 12 Aug 2020

There’s a good chance the social media app TikTok is spying on you and your children. Well, so a number of news outlets have pointed out.

The video-sharing platform is a huge hit used mostly by teenagers (sometimes younger), second only to Instagram. So, how can you protect you or your children’s digital life and privacy when using TikTok?

In this guide we’ll round up some of the practical steps you can take…

How to make your TikTok account private

Even with a private account, you or your child’s profile photo, username and bio will be visible to all TikTok users. It is best to ensure no sensitive information is included. 

  1. Go to your profile page
  2. Tap on the three dots on the top right corner of the screen
  3. Select ‘privacy and safety’ option and change the ‘private account’
  4. Toggle to ‘on’ with the green showing

How to report or block on TikTok

To block or report a user on TikTok:

  1. Go to the user’s profile and tap the three dots at the top of the screen
  2. From the options select ‘Block’ or ‘Report’
  3. If you block the user it will ask you to confirm this
  4. If you wish to simply report the user you need to select why you are reporting them

Managing duet control 

You can control who can duet on your videos:

  1. Go to the Privacy and safety’ settings option under the app settings
  2. Tap ‘who can duet with your videos’
  3. Choose ‘Friends or No one’ to limit those who can duet with you or your child
  4. You can do this for a number of different options such as who can send you direct messages and download your videos *We recommend you turn these all to ‘Friends’ or ‘No one’

How to control comments on TikTok posts

You can control who comments on your videos including comments on individual videos. 

  1. Go to the Privacy and safety’ settings option under the app settings
  2. Tap ‘who can comment on your videos’
  3. Choose ‘Friends or No one’ to limit comments to people you or your child knows on the app
  4. You can also turn off comments on individual videos by going to the menu button on the video and selecting ‘Comments off’
  5. You can do this for a number of different options such as who can send you direct messages and download your videos *We recommend you turn these all to ‘Friends’ or ‘No one’

How to enable the ‘Digital Wellbeing’ setting on TikTok

Digital Wellbeing allows app users to manage how much time they spend on the app and block any inappropriate content that they may be exposed to. In order to set these up:

  1. Select ‘Digital Wellbeing’ in the app settings
  2. Select either ‘Screen Time Management’ or ‘Restricted Mode’
  3. Set a unique passcode
  4. Then select ‘Turn on Screen Time Management’
  5. You can do this for both, and you can change your passcode whenever you need to

How to enable family pairing

Family pairing allows you to customise settings for family members. If you are a parent and want more control over your child’s account settings you can pair up with their account:

  1. Go into ‘Settings and privacy’
  2. Scroll down and tap on ‘Family Pairing’
  3. Tap continue and then select ‘Parent’
  4. On the next screen you will see a unique QR code
  5. Get the family member that you want to pair with to login to their account
  6. Select ‘Teen’
  7. You can then scan the QR code from the parent’s account

Enable 2-factor authentication

It’s always worth enabling 2-factor authentication to add a layer of extra security on you and your child’s account. The verification code can be sent to either your mobile phone or email address.

  1. Select ‘Security’ in the settings and privacy menu
  2. Tap on ‘2-step verification’
  3. Select your chosen verification method ‘Phone’ or ‘Email’

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