Hey Parents - if your child has a TikTok account, you'll want to check this out. 

TikTok has exploded in popularity with the younger crowd, and the app is working on ways to keep younger users safe. But before I get to that, let me explain what TikTok is, in case you're not familiar with it. It's a place where users can create quick video clips with fun effects and music, and there's usually a fun trend that people try to replicate (whether is a dance, answering questions, etc).

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So it's easy to see why kids love it, but at the same time, there's a layer of danger to it, as there is anywhere on the internet. People Magazine shared that TikTok has introduced some new privacy policies to help keep younger users safe - check out the new features from TikTok's press release below:

  • All users ages 13-15 will now have a private account (meaning only approved followers can see their content) unless they change the setting to public.
  • Commenting options for users ages 13-15 have been changed - they will only be allowed to receive comments from users marked as friends, or no one
  • Duet videos (an option where users can film a video shown alongside an existing one) and Stitch (where you can show others clips in your own video) are now only available for users ages 16 and up, and users ages 16 and 17 can only use this setting with friends.
  • Users will no longer be able to download videos from anyone under the age of 16. And users 16-17 will have the default download setting to off (but they can change this)
  • Users ages 13-15 will no longer be able to direct message anyone.

You can check out the full set of privacy policy updates here.

While privacy updates are nice, they're almost useless if parents don't monitor their children's online activity. A few of the above features from TikTok can be turned off, or children can just lie about their age on their profile and avoid the new rules altogether (People Magazine mentioned TikTok doesn't have a feature to verify age), opening them to some dangerous situations. I know I don't have kids, so I am no expert, but be sure to talk to your kids about what apps they're downloading, and find ways to monitor their time spent online. It's a difficult conversation, but it could be a life changing one in the long run!

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