TikTok is a short form video platform that offers in-app editing, effects, and sounds to help users develop imaginative memes and creative content. We know it's important that parents can feel comfortable that your teen is having a fun, safe experience while using the app, which is why TikTok provides you and your teen with a range of tools to put you in control.
As with all apps your teen may use, it’s helpful to study the options you have to make it right for you and your family – and we hope you can use the below to set guidelines for their appropriate use of TikTok. Take time to explore the tips with your teen, scroll through our safety videos, and dive into the app together to help them learn about the features and settings that can help them customize their experience.
Here are 10 tips to help keep your teen safely enjoying TikTok.
- Enable device-level parental controls. TikTok is intended for users 13 and over, and we've given it a 12+ app store rating. This allows you to use device-based parental controls provided by Google and Apple to block the app from an underage child's phone. For more, see instructions for iOS or Android for more on parental controls (or "restrictions") and how to enable them.
- Set your teen's account to private. By default, a TikTok account starts as public – but you can easily enable a private account in the privacy and safety settings. A private account means you can approve or deny follower requests, and only users you’ve approved as followers can see your content. Learn more about enabling a private account here.
- Decide who can follow you. Even if your teen has a private account, they can manage who follows their account by removing followers or blocking users and at any time, for any reason. Removing a follower will curtail that user's ability to send your teen a direct message, while blocking a user will also stop them from interacting with or viewing your teen's content at all.
- Limit the content you see. If your teen comes across a video that doesn’t vibe with what they want to watch, they can simply long-press on that video and tap 'Not Interested' to see less of that sort of video in the future. At the account level, enabling Restricted Mode is an option that limits the appearance of content that may not be appropriate for all audiences. Restricted Mode can always be adjusted if you'd like to disable it as your teen ages, but in the meantime you can set it behind a passcode for additional control.
- Control your comment section. Whether an account is private or public, your teen has the power to decide whether they want to allow comments on their videos from everyone, followers only – or restrict them altogether. Again, this can be set either at the account level, or adjusted for each individual video they create. And even with comments on, your teen can take granular control by enabling comment filters and setting a custom list of keywords that will be automatically blocked from any comments on their videos. Learn more about controlling comments here.
- Set messaging preferences. Messaging can be a great way to trade creative ideas with other users, but on TikTok only your teen's followers can send them a private message. Your teen can unfollow or block a user to curtail an individual's ability to send a DM, or disable messaging entirely from their privacy settings.
- Restrict duets. Duets can be a fun way to create videos with another user, but your teen has the control to decide who can make duets with or react to their content. They can set their preference just once at the account level and have the chosen setting apply to all their videos, or choose to selectively enable or disable duets for just a particular video.
- Report anything that violates our guidelines. TikTok is a community that embraces creativity and values support and positivity, and that code of conduct is outlined in our Community Guidelines. If your teen sees anything that they believe violates these guidelines, they can report content or a profile directly from within the app. Our community helps keep TikTok welcoming by adding unique, positive contributions and reporting misuse, spam, or anything else that doesn’t follow our Community Guidelines.
- Put a cap on screen time. Screen Time Management offers a way to limit the time your teen spends on the app each day. The feature, a part of our Digital Wellbeing offerings, lives behind a passcode and can be enabled for various time limits up to 2 hours. At the device level, screen time can also be managed directly through parental controls in Android and iOS device settings.
- Make videos together! TikTok is fun and easy to use. Join in on a trend or have fun with everyday moments together. Creating fun content with your teen can be a great way to get involved and learn about their interests.
For more info on how to adjust your privacy settings and controls, check out our Parental Guide. There are several resources you can access directly from the Parents Portal in our Safety Center, including The Family Online Safety Institute's 7 Steps to Good Digital Parenting guide.