Tiktok has a large youth userbase which is why the brand recently launched their Family Satisfy toolkit, essentially a collection of Tiktok safety tips for kids that parents can use. The toolkit gives parents solid advice to help guide their children to use the platform responsibly, with many of the tips shared by the brand can easily be applied to general internet usage as well.
Tiktok Safety Tips For Kids:
- Check Your Child’s Tech Readiness
- Agree on Tech and Gadget Boundaries
- Teach the value of Privacy
- Talk about Risky Contacts and Content
- Set boundaries for promiscuous online behavior
- Talk about Dis-/ Mis-Information
- Make Videos Together
Check Your Child’s Tech Readiness
Most websites and apps have an intended age limit to determines the kind of content that can be shared on their platform. Teens are encouraged to check their Digital Intelligence (DQ) score through the Family Safety Toolkit, to test their level of digital citizenship, and understand whether or not they are ready to use apps safely and responsibly.
Agree on Tech and Gadget Boundaries
Parents are encouraged to come to an agreement with their teens for when and where they can access and use digital devices, and what content they can watch, use, and play. This includes setting screen times or curfews until when they can use their gadgets which can benefit their overall health and wellbeing.
Talk about Cyber-Bullying
Having open and honest conversations about cyber-bullying is one way to curb this kind of online behavior. Parents can bring up the topic by asking if they or any of their friends have experienced or witnessed this online.
Teach the value of Privacy
Teens need to understand the value of online privacy and how the information one puts out on the internet becomes part of their own digital footprint. It is also important for parents to encourage teens to read privacy policies carefully before signing into any apps or websites.
Talk about Risky Contacts and Content
Parents should be aware of risky content online, such as violence, hate speech, indecent or sexual content. While most online platforms have community guidelines and moderators for such content it’s not 100% foolproof. Parents must educate their teens about the consequences of having risky contacts that might exploit, or groom them for unwanted sexual contact.
Set boundaries for promiscuous online behavior
Discussing concepts like consent is essential. While this may open up culturally taboo topics, this needs to be made clear for teens to understand the consequences of sharing intimate images and messages online. Parents should also check if their teen has been requested to share intimate or sexually explicit messages, photos, or videos with anyone, and if so, act fast to minimize the risk of harm.
Talk about Dis-/ Mis-Information
With all the fake news circulating online, it is important for parents to teach teens to think critically and distinguish between false information and legitimate facts. Talk about the importance of fact-checking or let them get familiar with online campaigns that can help them tell these two apart.
Make Videos Together
Liven up your home-routine by creating TikTok content together with your kids. You don’t necessarily have to be in these videos. After all, these videos won’t shoot by themselves. A number of well-received content on TikTok usually involves participation from other members of the family. Tiktok is not just for consuming content but it can also be a means to bond and get to know each other better especially since we’re mostly home-bound.
Families can be better digital citizens when they have meaningful conversations about building good online habits. If you’re a parent, Tiktok has a guided resource made for parents on how you can keep the app kid-safe.