If you have children, it’s highly likely that they’ve begged you to let them join the TikTok craze. With users of all ages flocking to the popular app, even the youngest kids are eager to jump on the bandwagon and create their own videos or try out TikTok challenges. However, as a concerned parent, it’s natural to question the safety of TikTok for 8-year-olds.
The truth is, if your 8-year-old is navigating TikTok on their own, it’s not entirely safe for them. However, with parental supervision and specific settings in place, the risks can be mitigated. Before allowing your child to engage with social media, it’s crucial to assess their emotional maturity level. Each child is unique, and it’s important to know whether they can handle the platform responsibly.
But before you make any decisions, it’s crucial to gather all the information you need. From understanding the age requirements to grasping the implications of user data, there’s a lot to consider. Making an informed decision is key when it comes to exposing your child to TikTok’s digital landscape.
TikTok for 10-Year-Olds – What To Know
As your child approaches their tween years, social media outlets like TikTok may become increasingly appealing, especially if their friends are already active users. It’s important for parents to understand the recommended age for TikTok and how it should be used by kids.
TikTok Age Requirement
To have full access to TikTok and create an account, a child must be at least 13 years old. However, this doesn’t mean children under 13 can’t use TikTok at all. There is a dedicated section on the app specifically designed for younger users. It restricts searching for videos or posting content, presenting a curated selection suitable for children.
It’s important to note that for the protections to be effective, your child must enter their actual birthdate during account setup. If they manipulate the year to appear older than they are, all these safeguards will be bypassed.
Does TikTok Verify Age?
TikTok doesn’t verify your child’s age automatically during account creation. If your child wishes to change their age, they would need to contact customer service and provide proof of age during that process.
TikTok for Under 13
If you choose to allow your child to use TikTok before they turn 13, you need to be aware of the risks involved. Although you can monitor their activity, there are still ways they can access content beyond your knowledge.
As TikTok does not automatically verify the user’s age, it’s possible for children to input a birthdate that makes them appear older. By doing so, they can access unrestricted content meant for older users, which poses potential dangers.
One significant risk for children on TikTok is their lack of understanding of the dangers associated with some of the challenges posted on the platform. Tragically, such challenges have even claimed the lives of kids who didn’t realize the potential harm involved. The perception of safety among younger audiences can be misleading when they witness others attempting seemingly harmless stunts.
Moreover, there’s always the potential for kids to come across images or hear lyrics that are too mature for their age. Although accounts for the under-13 crowd are intended to be private and protected, unknown individuals may try to gain access to your children’s accounts.
TikTok for Younger Users: Is It Safe?
TikTok does offer a safer option for younger users. In the United States, they have introduced a feature called TikTok for Younger Users. This feature heavily restricts what users under 13 can access on the app. Curated videos prevent interaction with other posts, posting their own videos, or conducting searches.
As long as your child remains in this restricted area of the app, it can be considered safe. However, inputting a false birthdate can grant them access to features meant for older users, so close monitoring is necessary if you allow young children on TikTok.
Family Pairing TikTok
To give parents more control over their child’s social media activity, TikTok introduced a feature called Family Pairing. This feature enables you to manage your child’s app usage time and restrict the content they see. It’s a useful tool for maintaining a safe and balanced online experience for your child.
TikTok User Data
Apart from concerns about content, parental worry also extends to the collection and usage of user data on TikTok. TikTok is known for sharing more user data than many other social media platforms, raising concerns about where this data ends up.
Every time your child engages with TikTok, data is collected, including their location, which can potentially be tracked. Search histories and other information are often shared with third parties without your child’s awareness. This lack of transparency regarding data usage is a significant reason why many parents hesitate to let their kids interact with TikTok.
Dangers of TikTok
Regardless of how careful you advise your child to be, risks and dangers exist when kids use social media platforms. Here are a few notable dangers associated with TikTok:
Children are conditioned to be cautious around strangers in real-life situations. However, it becomes more challenging to convince them that these same threats exist online. There is the potential for people with malicious intent to contact children on TikTok, posing as someone they are not. This puts your child at risk of disclosing personal information that could compromise their safety.
Being on TikTok means being exposed to other people’s lives and activities. This constant exposure can lead to your child comparing themselves unfavorably to others and experiencing a decrease in self-confidence. Additionally, they may feel compelled to succumb to peer pressure when engaging in TikTok challenges, which can be dangerous and sometimes even fatal.
How To Monitor Your Child on TikTok
The simplest way to monitor your child’s TikTok activity is by utilizing the Family Pairing feature. It grants you control over what your child can access on the app and ensures their safety.
Social Media Apps for 8-Year-Olds: Safest Options
If you are looking for social media alternatives for younger children, consider the following options:
PopJam is often referred to as Instagram for kids. It boasts moderators who oversee content, and limited app usage hours ensure a safe and enjoyable experience for children.
2. Kinzoo Family Messenger
Kinzoo Family Messenger allows families to stay connected through a social media app without the pressure of collecting likes or receiving comments on posts. It’s a great way to foster communication while ensuring a safe online environment.
Is TikTok Safe for 12-Year-Olds?
If your child signs up for TikTok using their actual birthdate, they will have additional protections in place. They won’t be able to post videos, and the content they see will be curated to suit their age group.
Does TikTok Have Parental Controls?
Yes, TikTok offers parental control options through the Family Pairing feature. Syncing your child’s account with yours allows you to set time limits for app usage and restrict the type of content they can access.
As a parent, you know your child best. Before allowing them access to TikTok or any other social media platform, it’s vital to equip yourself with the necessary knowledge. Understanding the risks, staying vigilant, and maintaining open communication with your child are essential steps to ensure their online safety.