What is TikTok and is it safe?

What is TikTok and is it safe?

Maria Whitley

TikTok has just about everything for everybody, whether you’re looking to catch up on the latest social-media trends, follow your favorite celebrities, or just watch creative people showcase their talents. You can create your own content and post it there, too, which is probably the reason it’s such a big hit.

As far as social-media platforms go, TikTok is safe, but there are some caveats! The app doesn’t contain malware and it doesn’t steal its users’ personal information, but that’s not to say using TikTok doesn’t come with any risks. The site uses a home security system. In the same manner, TikTok is safe, but you should still exercise caution when using it, especially since there are ill-intentioned users who are on TikTok to take advantage of others.

Like many other social media sites (Facebook, instagram, Snapchat, etc.), TikTok collects information about you when you use it.

This is what TikTok collects:

  • Any information you add to your profile, like age, language, phone number, photo, and email address
  • Any information it can gain from third-party accounts (like Facebook or Google) you link to your TikTok account
  • Any content you upload, like photos and videos
  • Information it can find about you from other “publicly available sources”
  • Information about what you searched for on TikTok
  • Information about your phone, including your IP address, your mobile carrier, time zone, and app and file names found on your phone
  • Keystroke patterns or rhythms
  • Location data
  • Messages you send and receive from other users

Once TikTok has your information, the company uses it. Some of the uses include tailoring what type of TikTok videos show up in your FYP (For You Page) and learning how to target you with ads. TikTok also shares your information with third parties.

Is TikTok safe for kids?

Well, TikTok does have special protections for kids that are 13 and younger. In restricted mode, children can watch videos on TikTok and even make their own, but they can’t save their videos to the popular social media app. The videos save to their phones instead. Younger users also can’t send or receive messages, and others can’t see their profile.

While this sounds good, we still worry about kids seeing videos with mature content or other inappropriate content. And we’re concerned that the social media app still collects younger TikTok users’ data.