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

At a glance

Kids use this to...

Play

Create

Learn

Connect

Expert view of the risks...

Sexual

Medium Risk

Violence & hatred

Medium Risk

Bullying

Medium Risk

Suicide & self-harm

Medium Risk

Drink, drugs & crime

High Risk

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.

What you should know

 

You can make your account private, but some info will still be available

 

TikTok accounts are automatically public, meaning other people can see all your public content. In the profile settings, you can change an account to private, which means your child can only receive direct messages and comments from their ‘followers’ - people they’ve pre-approved.

 

Be aware that even with a private account, any fellow TikTok users can still see their username, profile picture and bio. Have a conversation about what information would be appropriate for them to share.

 

TikTok has a Youth Portal for teens and their families

 

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 on the internet, as well as information on TikTok’s safety tools and controls.

 

It’s a handy place for you to explore with your kids, giving you the opportunity to discuss everything from security and privacy to tips on being a TikTok creator.

 

You can also follow our top tips for more ways to stay safe on TikTok.

 

TikTok’s Community Guidelines describe how to get the most out of the service and stay safe

 

We recommend reading TikTok’s Community Guidelines and picking out parts you think are important for your child to know. Some of the sections can seem a bit scary to talk to children about, such as suicide and self-harm or terrorism. But it’s important that your child knows they can speak to you if they come across anything worrying, as well as how to report and block content or users.

 

Follow our top tips to help keep your child safe on TikTok.

Top tips for staying safe

Exploring apps, sites and games together is a great way to involve your child in the decision-making process.

Be positive about what you see, but also be open about your concerns. Ask them what they think is appropriate and what worries them.

If you decide it’s not appropriate, then make sure you explain your reasons why.

You might decide it’s ok for your child to use. If so, make sure you follow the tips below to ensure it’s as safe as possible. And work out a time when you’ll next discuss the app.

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

  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.

You might want to start by asking:

  • What kinds of things do you share online?
  • Should we share everything?
  • What shouldn’t we share?

Use examples that are easy for them to understand: “You wouldn’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.

And if they feel like they can’t speak to you, tell them to talk to an adult they trust, like a teacher or Childline.

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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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