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How to help your children use Tik Tok safely

National Online Safety has published a step by step guide to helping keep our children safe while using social media and music video app Tik Tok – the world’s most downloaded iPhone app right now.

Tik Tok has been rapidly growing in popularity in recent years and now boasts 300 million monthly users worldwide.

The app allows users to watch musical clips, shoot short videos and edit them with built-in special effects and filters. To create a music video with the app, users can choose background music from a wide variety of music genres, and record a video in 15 seconds before uploading to the servers for sharing.

Why is this important to us?

The app has come under fire in recent times due to concerns surrounding young children using the app and the potential for inappropriate people being easily able to view these children’s videos and contact them.

As this app is currently the most downloaded app worldwide there is a strong chance your child might have the app downloaded on their phone.

Tik Tok was previously known as Musical.ly, after Musical.ly was bought by Chinese company in November 2017 and rebranded. If your child previously had a Musical.ly account then all of their videos and personal settings will have automatically been moved to Tik Tok.

NOS’ informative poster highlights some of the risks associated with this hugely popular app.

Some of the key risks include the fact that strangers can follow your children if your child’s profile is open. While there is not necessarily a sinister motive behind a stranger following a child on Tik Tok it gives potential predators the ability to contact your child through the platform.

Many users might not realise that the videos they post can then be re-posted online by others, which could lead to bullying within friendships groups or even online.

In addition, the app encourages ‘in-app’ purchases – such as the option to buy different emojis to decorate their videos which can be very expensive.

NOS goes on to offer some helpful tips on how to broach this topic with your child and help them understand the risks and pitfalls.

Accounts can be set to private so that only ‘approved people’ can view your child’s creations. There is more information on how to do this on the NOS poster.