What is TikTok and How Does it Work?

TikTok has become a craze and understandably so. The sensational social media application is free and it lets you create, watch, and share videos often accompanied by music, all this from your phone! Currently, it has more than 100 million users and it’s one of the most popular apps globally partly owing to its many features. The lip-syncing and vine creation has especially endeared the app to the masses and celebrities worldwide have joined the bandwagon. The app has created instant celebrities and has become a popular platform for upcoming artistes to promote their music.
A phone number or email address is needed to sign up on the app although you can link your Facebook or Instagram accounts to the app. Once your log-in is successful, you can search among the millions of users' videos, hashtags, or even your friends' contacts on the app. The majority of users are there to follow their favorite celebrities and they do not necessarily create videos themselves. TikTok users can earn reward points by having friends download the app. The points are redeemable for gift coupons for brands like Uber.
Is TikTok Safe For kids?

Is TikTok safe for kids?

Kids can use the app without any adult supervision. By default, all profiles are public and anyone can see your videos and your profile. However, with so much information out there, parents are worried if it’s safe for their kids who comprise the majority of the users. Just like other social media, privacy settings are critical in limiting the amount of information your kids or yourself are putting out there. Kids can post videos without editing or reviewing them, making them a target of online predators. It is important to mark kids account private to ensure the videos they share are not public content.

TikTok is used as a social media playlist for popular videos and many of these videos involve swearing and age-inappropriate content which might be unsuitable for kids. TikTok’s search engine will not let you search for expletives but it is very easy to encounter lewd content on the app. However, with a little supervision, it can be a great app for the kids.

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Is there parental control on TikTok?

The app is recommended for 15 years and older owing to privacy issues and the content. TikTok’s requirement is 13 years although there is a kid’s option. Besides, anyone below the age of 18 is required to have approval from their parent or guardian. It’s not a hassle for them, it seems, and the number of teen-users has gone up in droves. TikTok does have parental controls in the Digital Wellbeing section of the app and there, you can enable protection features on your kid’s app and protect them with a passcode. The app also gives parents the option of using their phones and accounts to control their kids’ use of the application. This is enabled by the app’s Family Pairing feature.

Here is how to do it:

On your phone, or your kid’s phone, tap the three dots at the right in the user profile. Select ‘Digital Wellbeing’ next to the umbrella icon and select the features you would like to enable.

What Parental Control features are there?

Screen Time Management is a feature that limits the amount of time spent on the app. This is to avoid a sedentary lifestyle for the kids who ideally, should be playing outside and interacting with others. The feature can limit usage for a maximum of two hours per day and can even be adjusted lower to 40 minutes in a day. A passcode is required to bypass that setting so ensure you use it after selecting the option.

Restricted Mode is also a feature that blocks mature content. Sometimes, even with the feature on, kids can get exposed to age-inappropriate content. Minimal supervision now and then may be necessary. Like the other features, a passcode is necessary with this feature too.

Family Pairing lets you control the above features and also block direct messaging on your kid's account. With your kid’s phone on the Digital Wellbeing Screen, tap Family Pairing and using the QR code, sync both accounts - yours and the kid’s. Always remember that these steps are not foolproof and the tech-savvy teens will always find a way around them.

How do I delete a TikTok video?

To remove a video that you had posted, just select the video, tap the three-dot icon in the bottom right corner and tap the trash can icon to delete the video. Upon confirmation, the video will be permanently removed from your profile.

How do I delete a TikTok account?

You can also delete your TikTok account and profile if you have had enough of this app. To delete your account, go to your profile page and tap the three dots icon in the top right corner. Tap Manage My Account and if you had not used a phone number to register, it will be a requirement here. Upon adding your number, follow the onscreen prompts to enable you to request a verification code for removing your account. The code to confirm the deletion of your account will be sent to the phone number entered and thereafter, you can successfully delete your account.
All in all, TikTok is an amazing social media app hence its popularity. It has provided a great avenue for easy sharing and has made over-night celebrities. It is a great tool to share content and a great place to have fun. However, like all forms of social media, parental control is very necessary for kids. Online dangers lurk everywhere and parents should be on the front-line in this virtual jungle that has become part of our everyday lives. Proper parental control ensures the safety of our kids and with TikTok, it’s not any different.