How to Make TikTok Safe for Kids in 2024

TikTok claims to care about user’s safety, but no one cares as much about your children as you do. We’ll show you how to make TikTok safe for kids.
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According to a 2022 Pew survey, two-thirds of the teenagers in the U.S. are on TikTok.[1] If your kids are part of that number, you’ll want to learn how to keep them safe on the platform.

Is TikTok safe for kids? That depends on how the video-sharing platform is used, what security parameters are set, and how much time is spent using it. 

Some parents are concerned about the hours their children spend online.  The more time your kids are on the app, the more dangers they may be exposed to, so you’ll want to find ways to keep them safe on social media. In this guide, we’ll give you some security tips and show you how to make TikTok safe for your children.

In this article
Is TikTok safe for kids?
Understand the risks
Set up parental controls and security settings
Encourage responsible use
Monitor your child’s activity
TikTok safety FAQ
Bottom line

Is TikTok safe for kids?

That depends on how involved you’re willing to be as a parent. For instance, TikTok parental controls allow you to monitor content for safety precautions. TikTok has features for young people and families that are supposed to build a safer experience.

Every account that belongs to a user under 18 years old is automatically set to a 60-minute screen time each day. If your child is under 13, you must enter a passcode to enable 30 extra minutes of screen time. 

These restrictions are set up to make TikTok safer for kids. You can even link your account to your child’s account to set up parental controls that put you in charge of how the app is used.

Understand the risks

There are inherent risks that come with any social media platform, especially when children use them. You know how often adults get scammed on these kinds of platforms, and there are specific situations kids may face too that parents should know.

  • Cyberbullying: You can think of it as similar to school bullying, but this may be worse because no adults are around to see it. For example, your child could be sent mean messages or have rumors spread that cause anxiety, and you do not know it’s happening.
  • Inappropriate content: Since TikTok is mostly short videos and music, your kids can hear and see content with profanity or vulgar language. They can also view suggestive clothing and dancing that you may not want them to see at a young age.
  • Data collection: TikTok collects lots of user data. And that means if your kids copy and paste private information like conversations and login credentials, TikTok is storing and possibly sharing that data. If you don’t find that alarming, TikTok’s privacy policy shows that it collects email addresses, phone numbers, ages, and browsing history!

Set up parental controls and security settings

After seeing some of the risks your child faces when using TikTok, you know how crucial it is to set up parental controls. You can make security adjustments to keep your child safe with TikTok’s privacy settings.

  • Family pairing: Link your TikTok account to your child’s account, and you’ll be able to customize safety settings based on how you want to limit your child’s activity. Suppose you only want your children on TikTok for two hours per day. That can be done through Family Pairing. You can also get a summary of your child’s time on the app. If you want to know how long the app has been used the last four weeks, this can be done.
  • Private account settings: You can choose to make your child’s account private so that only people you approve can follow them or view their videos.
  • Screen time limits: With screen time limits, you can decide how long your kid spends on TikTok each day. You can also set one screen time limit for all your child’s devices and set a passcode that must be used to allow them more screen time on the app.
  • Restricted mode: This limits the content exposure your child can access. Not all TikTok videos are suitable for children, and this mode lets you restrict that content.
  • Filters: You can tailor the videos in the For You and Following feeds by using keyword filters. These settings help you keep certain content out of those sections so your child won’t see it.
  • Direct messages: As part of Family Pairing, you can stop any Direct Messages from coming to your child’s TikTok account.
  • Mute notifications: This allows you to set a schedule to mute notifications for your children. Accounts with children who are 13-15 are automatically set not to receive push notifications after 9 p.m. Accounts for children 16-17 won’t get notifications after 10 p.m.

Encourage responsible use

As your children get older, they must find ways to navigate the world without as much help from you. As a parent, you can teach your kids to be smart about how they use TikTok and other social media apps. Make sure your children know they can always talk to you if they receive any inappropriate messages.

It is your responsibility as a parent to set boundaries. You also need to be aware of what your child is doing, and it cannot be emphasized enough that, although there are safety measures in place, ultimately you must decide what is acceptable for your children. Using these tips and settings will help keep your child safer because it puts more control in your hands.

Encourage your children to avoid any messages from strangers. Inform them that people may pretend to be someone else, so if they don’t know someone, it’s best not to chat. Sticking to friends they know is safer.

Tell your children to keep all private information private. They should never share their location, home address, phone number, passwords, photos, or any other data with people online. You don’t want hackers stealing your information, and it’s easy for them to trick kids by sending a link to click that gives them access to things like bank accounts and other sensitive data.

If anything happens, and your child no longer feels comfortable using the app, make sure you know how to delete TikTok. It only takes a few steps, and it will remain deactivated for 30 days while not in use. After that, it will be completely deleted.

Monitor your child’s activity

Even with tremendous trust between you and your child, you should monitor TikTok activity. That doesn’t mean you don’t respect privacy boundaries. It simply means, as a parent, you should be aware of any issues before they get out of hand.

Since predators may try to use direct messaging to target unsuspecting children, if you don’t have messaging disabled, you need to monitor the messages. TikTok doesn’t allow direct messaging for users under 16, but there are ways around that, such as your child supplying a false date of birth.

If you have younger children, scroll through social media with them. Leading by example helps them learn what is acceptable to watch and how to interact online appropriately. They’ll know how to be nice to others and spot red flags, like the content you don’t approve of, so they can avoid it. TikTok’s algorithm will also learn to recommend child-friendly content as you scroll too. You probably don’t want your 6-8 year old watching a scantily clad dancer singing a song containing sexual lyrics.

One of the best ways to monitor your child’s TikTok experience is to use the parental control settings. That way, you won’t have much to monitor, and your children will have a sense of privacy without you looking over their shoulders.

TikTok safety FAQ


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How do I block inappropriate content on TikTok?

You can block inappropriate content on TikTok by turning on the Restricted Mode or using video keyword filters.


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Can kids under 13 use TikTok?

Kids under 13 can use TikTok in a limited app experience, according to the platform’s website. There are additional privacy and safety protections for these younger users.


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How do I block the TikTok app on my child’s phone?

If you want to block TikTok on your child’s phone, you can usually do so from the device’s settings menu. You’ll need to disable the app, and you can enable it later if you wish. Alternatively, you can limit specific content by using TikTok’s Restricted Mode.

Bottom line

Internet safety is a concern for everyone these days, but especially for unsuspecting, innocent children. By using these tips and putting a plan into action now, you’ll know how to make TikTok safe for kids while giving them boundaries and space at the same time.

If your child also uses Discord or other social media apps along with TikTok, our parents' guide to Discord offers helpful tips for securing your child's DMs and friend requests.

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Author Details
Patti Croft is a seasoned writer who specializes in all things technology. She holds a B.S. in Computer Science and carries a wealth of hands-on experience thanks to her background as a technical analyst and security specialist.

Citations
[1] Teens, Social Media, and Technology 2022