TikTok is a short video social application that allows users to upload 15- or 60-second videos that react to funny videos, quote their favorite movies, try TikTok challenges and more. While generally safe to use, there are still security issues to consider when using any social networking application, including TikTok.
Security Concerns When Using TikTok
When you choose to use TikTok to create videos, you choose to present yourself visually. Beyond this fact, there are other security concerns to keep in mind when using the application:
- Private messages and comments: people you don’t know can send you private messages and comment on your videos when you use a public TikTok account.
- Video download features: when your account is set to public, strangers can download your videos to their mobile device for offline viewing.
- TikTok duets: Duets are also a feature of public accounts. This means that strangers can create another video by filming a “duet” with your original video.
- Shared personal information: it is possible to accidentally show identifying information, such as your general location, while filming a video.
- Inappropriate content: like any social networking application, you run the risk of being exposed to inappropriate content while using the application.
Unfortunately, there is no way to filter what you receive from people you don’t know without a private account.
How to protect your privacy while using TikTok
To protect yourself while using the TikTok application, there are several settings to consider located in your Privacy & Security settings.
To find these settings, tap the three-dot icon in the top corner of your TikTok profile, then tap Privacy & Security.
- Private account: you can change your account to private, which means you can choose whether you want your videos to be visible only to you or your friends. This prevents strangers from downloading your videos, commenting on videos, creating duets, etc.
- Allow others to find me: If you do not want others to find you, you can disable this feature. That way, TikTok will not suggest your account to other users within the application.
- Security features: under Security, you will see several features that you can disable, such as video comments, duets, reactions, private messages, downloads and more.
- Comment filter: you can also enable the comment filter that filters out spam and offensive comments on your videos, in case it is still public.
- Keyword filtering: Want to filter out specific words? You can do so by filtering your keywords. Simply enable this feature and add the keywords you want to filter.
Beyond TikTok’s privacy and security features, there are a few online safety tips you should always keep in mind.
- Think before you post: remember to be smart about what you post, especially with a public account. As you record, make sure there is no personal information in your take or background that could reveal your location.
- Be selective with your follow requests: if you don’t know the TikTok user, don’t accept the follow request. Also, be sure to verify who you are talking to before engaging in a chat with a TikTok user.
- Report inappropriate content: If you believe the content is inappropriate, it is likely for someone else. Report it using the reporting features within TikTok.
Is TikTok safe for children?
It is recommended that children under the age of 16 not use the TikTok application due to access to inappropriate content and possible connection with strangers. However, the minimum age requirement for TikTok is 13 years old.
According to TikTok, users under the age of 18 must have permission from a parent or guardian before creating a TikTok account.
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