TikTok: is the application safe for children?

ESET presents relevant information about TikTok in 2023 through its Digipadres initiative, designed to support adults in caring for children and young people online. The short video platform TikTok, the most downloaded application of 2021, is very popular among people under 25 years of age. Despite its great appeal for creativity and communication, it also presents risks in terms of security and privacy.

Several countries have recently banned its use on state employee devices, and the restrictions are affecting families as well. Concern for the safety of children on the platform has led TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew to address the issue before the US Congress on March 23.

The risks include exposure to inappropriate content, such as videos that are sexually suggestive or promote eating disorders, and the collection of massive user data. To address these issues, TikTok has implemented new features such as parental control tools and limitations on the time of use for people under 18 years of age.

ESET recommends using TikTok’s “Family Sync”, which allows parents and guardians to link their accounts with their children’s and control certain aspects of the platform. In addition, ESET suggests following these tips to protect minors on TikTok.

Recommendations for parents

  • Teach them to share safely: Explain the difference between sharing and exposing sensitive information.
  • Familiarize yourself with the use policies: Understand how the platform handles the data of minors.
  • Set accounts as private: Check the privacy of children’s accounts.
  • Maintain open communication: Talk to minors about the risks and benefits of the application.
  • Know when to report: Learn to report and block inappropriate users and content.

“TikTok can be a very positive place for children. You can encourage their creativity and help them develop their social network. It is an excellent tool for them to express themselves and communicate with their friends. Making sure to take into account the positive aspects before forbidding something builds more confidence and allows your children to enjoy the advances of technology safely. Be the voice that guides them through the intricate digital world and create a safer space for them on the Internet..”, says Sol Gonzalez from ESET Latin America.

ESET invites you to know digiparents, its initiative aligned with safer kids online, which seeks to accompany mothers, fathers, tutors and teachers in the care of children on the Internet in order to raise awareness about risks and threats in the digital world. In this space, materials are provided for the learning, dialogue and supervision process in order to provide the necessary knowledge to help the little ones in the use of new technologies.

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