Social networks, apps and games
app-icons-TikTok

TikTok

TikTok is a social media platform that lets you create, share and discover 60 second videos. You can use music and effects to enhance your videos and you can also browse other people’s videos and interact with them.

13+

Official age rating

Kids use this to...

Play

Create

Learn

Connect

Our safety ratings

Overall safety rating:

Our overall rating for TikTok

Average

We don’t think this app is suitable for anyone under the age of 13.

TikTok does have some parental controls that can help to keep your child safer on the app.

There have been reports in the press that not all content that gets reported on TikTok gets deleted and there’s still a risk your child could come across something upsetting or that you don’t want them to see when exploring other people’s videos.

Safety features

TikTok’s Youth Portal has been designed to give young people and their parents and carers a place to learn about how to stay safe online, as well as information on TikTok’s safety tools and controls.

TikTok’s family pairing mode lets you connect your own personal TikTok account to your child’s and gives you access to features to help manage screen time and who they can contact on the app.

Parents or carers can turn on ‘restricted mode’ on the app. This feature will help stop your child from coming across content that might not be suitable for them.

Under 16s are not able to not send or receive direct messages from anyone, so it’s important that your child signs up with their correct age.

 

Privacy & location

You can set an account to private on TikTok so only people who follow you can see the videos you post. Other users can still see your username and profile pictures.

We would recommend that anyone under the age of 16 sets their account to private.

Reporting & blocking

You can easily report content or block other users without having to leave the app.

Content

TikTok say that they delete all content that violates their Community Guidelines. However, this doesn’t always mean inappropriate content containing violence or other harmful themes will get deleted straight away and your child could still come across something upsetting.

O2 Guru top tip

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Keep TikTok as private as possible

Explore the settings with your child and switch the account to private to make sure videos are only shared with their friends.

Top tips for staying safe

Sitting down with your child and exploring their favourite app or game is a great way for you to learn more about what they like to do online.

You can ask them why they like to use an app or play certain games, as well as who they’re talking to and what sorts of things they’re sharing.

You can also read our Net Aware reviews for tips on how to keep kids safe on popular apps, sites and games.

Family Pairing (previously Family Safety Mode) lets you link you link your child’s TikTok account to your own so you can help manage:

  1. Screen Time Management: how long your child can spend on TikTok each day.
  2. Direct Messages: who can send messages to your child’s account or turn off direct messages completely.
  3. Restricted Mode: restrict certain types of content that you think isn’t appropriate for your child.

These tools are handy at helping parents keep their children safe on TikTok, but we think it's best to start with a conversation about staying safe online. If you’re worried about TikTok – or even just interested – ask your child why they use it, what they like and dislike, and different ways to stay safe while on it.

A lot of parents are concerned with how long their kids spend staring at their screens. But it’s not about how long they’re on their screens, it’s about what they’re doing online and who they’re talking to. That’s why it’s best to have regular conversations about how they’re using the internet and ways to stay safe.

Your child might come across something upsetting or negative on TikTok. If this happens, they might want to report content or block another user. 

To report another user in TikTok, you can go to settings and click 'report a problem'. You can block another user by going to their profile and clicking 'block'. You can explore these features with your child and discuss when and why they might want to use them.

And remember to let your child know that they can always talk to you about worrying things they see online. 

Help your child think about what they share online and who sees it. Compare it to what they would be happy to share offline.

Use examples that are easy for them to understand: “You shouldn't give your number to somebody you don't know on the street. Is somebody online you don't know any different?”

Listen to their answers. And be positive and encouraging.

Remind them that they shouldn’t share private things, such as:

  • personal information, like names, emails, phone numbers, location and school names
  • other people's personal information
  • links to join private group chats
  • photos of themselves
  • photos of their body, such as sexual photos or videos.

You might want to read TikTok's information and advice for parents. It has details on how to make accounts private, block other users and extra resources around internet safety.

Explain that you understand the internet is a great place to play, create, learn and connect. But remind them they can talk to you if anything upsets or worries them.

Reassure them that you won’t overreact – you’re just looking out for them.

It’s important to remind your child that they can talk you, another adult they trust, like a teacher, or Childline about anything they see online.

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Talking to your child

Having open, regular conversations with your child will help you to really understand and explore the online world together. Our tips and advice can help you start these conversations.

Talk about staying safe online

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