TikTok, the social networking app with the most addictive algorithm. The average user now spends approximately 21 hours on the app monthly. With the rise in screen time sharply rising, parents are becoming increasingly aware of the damaging impact that this overstimulation can have on children’s mental health.
However, it is becoming challenging for parents to stay vigilant in an ever-changing online space. Children and teenagers have secretly curated ways to boost their screen time and hide their activity on the app, meaning they have a high likelihood of being exposed to adult material.
Here are some tips to help parents navigate their children’s online safety.
Safety features available for TikTok:
1. Family Pairing
By linking your child’s TikTok account to yours, you can disable direct messages, turn on restricted content mode, and set screen time limits using your phone. You must scan the QR code inside the Digital Wellbeing section of your kid’s TikTok account from the settings option to activate it. This will then link the two versions.
2. Enable restricted mode
There is a Restricted mode for accounts that can filter out mature content on TikTok. It uses an "automated detection system", and human moderators are trained to identify specific inappropriate themes. The restricted mode only applies to videos; children can still access explicit music when making their videos.
3. Set screen time limits on TikTok
TikTok has its restrictions on screen time. The limit can be 40, 60, 90, or 120 minutes before a pop-up asks users to leave the programme. Users must provide a passcode to dismiss the warning and keep using TikTok. If you want to stop your child from disabling screen time limitations without your permission, use Family Pairing.
4. Use the “Guided Access” iPhone feature to stop your children from swiping on your device.
If your child uses your iPhone or iPad for screen time, then the guided access feature is a must! This will prevent your children from swiping off any app, sending texts, or finding anything they shouldn’t be looking at! Activate the guided access feature in your iPhone settings, and you head to the app you want to use; triple tap the side of your phone, and it will lock on the screen. To unlock, click three times and then enter your passcode.
5. Make the TikTok account private.
Only the creator and followers who the creator has approved can view videos on private accounts. Private accounts are given to users under the age of sixteen by default. However, any account can be made private.
6. Bedtime block on app alerts
Bedtime block on app alerts – TikTok has announced a feature preventing teenagers from receiving notifications past bedtime. They will no longer send messages after 9 pm to users 13-15 years old. But for 16 and 17-year-olds, notifications will not be sent after 10 pm.
7. Stop kids from deleting and redownloading apps for longer screen time.
One trick children and teens are using to keep their screen time down is deleting the app once it’s reached its maximum screen time. To make sure your child cannot do this, head to your iTunes & App store purchases in your settings, choose ‘Don’t Allow’ for installing, deleting and in-app purchases, and this will stop them from being able to use this hack.
As phones get more intelligent, so do the security and safeguarding features. Visit our refurbished phone shop and pick up a device that puts you one step ahead.
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