A popular app for teens and tweens is reportedly now a magnet for child predators. It’s called TikTok.
It’s one amongst the most downloaded apps among teenagers, beating out Instagram and Facebook. Specialists say kids and teens love TikTok as a way to express themselves briefly, fun videos, gain a following, and attract interaction with others.
In the summer of 2018 TikTok officially took off after merging with Musical.ly. Since then it’s gained 130 million active users and is available in thirty four languages.
The app is innocent enough, however there are reportedly online predators who use these apps to lure kids.
The tech website Motherboard investigated the app and found a large community of adult users on TikTok *soliciting* nude photos from kids.
Some of those users even sent explicit videos to kids. One of the main problems with TikTok is that once children sign up to use the app, the default setting on their accounts is “public”, meaning anything they share can be seen by the other user.
It’s simple enough to switch it private so that users can solely communicate with their friends. However, even private accounts don’t eliminate the chance your kid could stumble onto porn whereas using the “search” feature.
The app conjointly collects an alarming amount of data from its young users, as well as location, phone and social media contacts and more.
It’s vital for parents to speak to their kids concerning the app, the way to use it wisely, and what to do if someone or something inappropriate comes across their account.