TikTok is a popular video app that allows users to create 15-second videos that they can share with their followers. Just to confuse you, the app’s full name is TikTok — Real Short Videos, and it was previously known as Muiscal.ly before it was purchased and rebranded by the China-based tech company Bytedance. (Fun Fact: it’s called Douyin in China.) It has an estimated 40 million monthly users.
Although the social media platform is nowhere near as popular as Facebook, Instagram, or SnapChat, its user base is growing. This means parents and guardians need to know about TikTok parental controls before letting their kids download the app.
Who Can Use TikTok?
TikTok was designed for adults, but anyone between the age of 13 to 18 is permitted to use the app with permission from a parent or guardian. However, there is no age verification so a child can lie about their age to access it.
The app is not recommended for anyone under the age of 13. In fact, the company suggests users be at least 16 before downloading the app due to potentially finding explicit content. This is why setting up TikTok parental controls is important.
Set Your Child’s TikTok Account to Private
- Tap the body icon on the lower right to go to the profile page
- Click on the three dots in the top right corner
- Select Privacy and Safety
- Toggle on Private Account
It is important to note that even when an account is set to private, profile information – like usernames, profile photos, and biographies – will remain visible to users. For increased safety, consider having your child use information in these fields that will not readily identify them.
Use the Digital Wellbeing Features
The Digital Wellbeing features gives parents more control over both the content that their kids are viewing and how much time they are spending on TikTok.
- Go to Settings
- Tap Digital Wellbeing
Control Screen Time
This sets a 60-minute time limit on the app than can only be shut off with a numeric code you create.
- Tap Screen Time Management
- Select the red button to Enable Screen Time Management
- Create a private numeric password that your child does not know
Use Restricted Mode
This filters content that may not be appropriate for minors.
- Tap Enable Restricted Mode
- Enter the private numeric password you created for Screen Time Management
Decide Who Can Interact with Your Child’s Videos
TikTok offers users the ability to do everything from creating duets to exchanging private messages. To limit who can do these things with your child, adjust global access in the Privacy and Safety section under the app settings. This will let you set:
- Who Can Post Comments
- Who Can Duet With Me
- Who Can React to Me
- Who Can Send Me Messages
- Under all these options, choose from Everyone, Friends, or in some cases Off to disable the function completely.
For disabling comments on a specific video, open the video you want to adjust.
- Tap the Menu button
- Select Comments Off