Cyber Safe Kids – ‘TikTok’

We have posted in the past about the problems around TikTok.  Sadly, we feel this may have fallen on deaf ears.  We continue to face problems with the app in our school day.  Whilst most of what happens on TikTok happens outside of school, it is brought to school on devices and in the minds of our students.

TikTok had a very genuine and humble beginning, and used purely what it was originally designed for, it is relatively harmless.  Although, the data security and data sovereignty of the app still remains in question today, who has ultimate access to the videos your child creates and who can do whatever they like with this content? For example, there is a well know story of a child who’s selfie became a billboard feature in Indonesia without her knowledge.

The content often gives away more information about your child and your family than maybe first known.  There are skilled people out there analysing every post for pieces of a puzzle that slowly puts together your full identity. This leads to identity theft in one way or another, in a child’s case it usually means that their account is stolen and misused by others, resulting in their friends seeing all sorts of profanity that appears to come from their close friend.

Further to this, do you actually know the lyrics to the songs they are dancing and miming? They probably don’t even know themselves, or at least the meaning, but what if they do?

TikTok videos aren’t always dances to songs either, there have been porn videos, offensive rants and recordings of suicide. Sure, you can set your child’s privacy settings to minimise their exposure to all of this. But, 5 minutes after you set it, are they still set the same, our children are intelligent and curious creatures and are often drawn to undo these settings.

We strongly urge you to consider your child’s mental health and wellbeing and what true benefit they get from this app.  Please don’t just take our word for it, please take the time to read this article, Parents be aware, and imagine your child in some of these real-life scenarios.

We have posted fantastic fact sheets from the Carly Ryan Foundation before, please also take the time to read this one.

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