The “Tik Tok” app added a “Family Safety Mode” feature designed to give parents strict control over the behavior of teenage children on a mobile phone. The feature will allow parents to link their Tik Tok accounts to their children’s accounts, and to enable and disable features remotely. It also allows the content to be filtered to exclude inappropriate content and to stop messages.
Tik Tok sets a minimum age of 13 for use, but many who have not reached adolescence use the application owned by a Chinese company.
A study by the UK’s agency, the UK’s telecom regulator, revealed that Tik Tok was used by 13% of all British children aged 12-15 years in 2019, an increase of 8% over the previous year.
What does the new feature do?
Parents with Tik Tok accounts can link their accounts to their children’s accounts, for direct control of security controls.
Adults must open the application on the two phones, go to the “digital well-being” controls, and determine the phone they own, and which one the child uses, and then they must scan the QR code code between the two phones to link the accounts, allowing parents to protect a number of Features via password.
This means that an adult’s phone can now turn on and off controls for:
- Safe mode, auto filter, algorithm driven, which tries to hide inappropriate content
- Messages that can be controlled to receive, that is, they can be received from friends only, or stopped altogether
- Screen time controls, setting a strict limit on the time the app can be used every day
These features were available on the Tik Tok platform for some time, but they required that they be placed on teenagers ’phones manually, and that they be locked with a password that must be reset every 30 days.
Why launch parental controls?
Tik Tok is very popular with young people, and it has been recently announced that half of all 10-year-olds in the Pakistan own a smartphone. It may be good for parents to have special accounts on Tik Tok.
One of the charity’s steps to achieve the goal of improving parents awareness of digital technology is engaging and communicating with the Internet with your children, and creating things together. It indicates that without age verification, “100% certainty” use of those under 13 years of application.
A BBC investigation revealed last year that children and adolescents were being pressured to buy real-money goods for “famous” celebrities, in exchange for phone numbers and private messages. Following the report, the app only dedicated this feature to adults.
What we are seeing is the maturity of this application, which came suddenly during the past 18 months. They strive to maintain their current position as one of the most prominent applications in the lives of our children.