Here's how to set up parental controls for TikTok!
Here are the top 5 parental control settings we recommend:
1. Input your child's real birth year.
It's important to make sure TikTok knows how your child is as they have in-built restrictions in place for different age groups. TikTok is one of few apps that have put a lot of features in place to make sure your child is entering a safe space. During registration, don't do the lazy thing of clicking any birth year - they make it very hard to change the registered birthday once a profile is set up to prevent kids from changing their age to older than they are. For ages 13 to 15:
- Direct messaging is automatically disabled
- Profiles are set to 'private'
- Comments are limited to Friends or No One
- Their videos can't be remixed or downloaded
For ages 16 to 17:
- Videos are limited to Friends
- Remixing and downloading of videos are set to "off" by default, although it can be changed in settings
2. Set up Family Pairing
Family Pairing is a relatively new feature that allows parents and teens to customise their safety settings based on the family's needs. You can control a suite of settings such as Screen Time Management, to Discoverability, and Direct Messages. To start linking you and your child's accounts, follow these instructions: 1. Go to Me and tap the "..." menu at the top of your screen 2. Select 'Family Pairing' 3. Select 'Parent' and follow the onscreen instructions from there For more info, visit https://support.tiktok.com/en/safety-hc/account-and-user-safety/user-safety#pairing
3. Turn off comments, downloads, and others
TikTok has a lot of privacy and safety settings for you to customise and control. It is up to the parent's responsibilities to make sure these settings are set up properly so children stay safe online. TikTok is a social media community, which means users from all over the world can communicate with each other, through commenting, following, remixing, and downloading. Here are some safety settings we suggest for a safe experience: 1. Go to Me and tap the "..." menu at the top of your screen 2. Go to Privacy 3. Under Discoverability: turn on toggle for "Private Account" 4. Under Personalization and Data: turn off "Ad Authorization" to disable third party advertisers to use your videos in ads 5. Under Safety: - Turn off "downloads" - In Comments - set to either "Friends" or "No One", and turn on "Filter spam and offensive comments" - Set to only "Friends" or "No One" who can send direct messages
4. Set up the digital wellbeing controls
TikTok has a section within their settings for users to take control of their digital wellbeing. In this section, you can set screen times and restrict inappropriate content. To do this, follow these instructions: 1. Go to Me and tap the "..." menu at the top of your screen 2. Go to Digital Wellbeing 3. Set screen time - there are options for 40, 60, 90, or 120 minutes 4. Turn on restricted mode to filter out any inappropriate content
5. Talk to your child about participating in challenges
This last one isn't a parental control, but is a necessary step to ensure your child is being safe. TikTok is a fun community full of creative people that like to dance, share life hacks, and pull harmless pranks on their loved ones. However, there are dangerous challenges that have circulated the app such as the "Skullbreaker challenge" or the "Blackout challenge" that have resulted in devastating situations. Before you let your teen roam the app freely, take some time to talk to them about participating in challenges. Get them to think critically and ask themselves - "Is this safe for me? By participating in this challenge, what am I getting out of it? Will it put me in harm's way?". Have an open conversation as to what you think is a fun challenge and what you might consider as dangerous.
Conclusion: TikTok is fast becoming one of the most popular social media apps amongst Gen Z, and there's no doubt why - the app is inviting, engaging, funny, and encourages community participation. Your child or teen is most likely already on TikTok or will be asking you for permission to download the app soon, so it's best to be prepared with these parental controls!
Psst! Save our checklist image above to share with other parents!