While most U.S. schools are closed due to COVID-19, families find themselves trying to balance the impossible—working from home, remote learning, household chores … the list goes on.
Parents and kids alike have turned to technology to stay connected to friends, family and the outside world. With our new reality, kids are in front of screens at least 50% more than pre-quarantine life.
And TikTok—the most downloaded app in 2020—just rolled out new safety features to safeguard individual’s account. Here’s what you need to know about them and why it’s important.
TikTok’s newest safety feature, Family Pairing, is designed to give parents a tighter grip over their kids’ social media habits. With Family Pairing, parents can link their TikTok account to their teen’s and set controls remotely. All you have to do is scan a QR code from one phone with the other linked accounts.
A key feature with Family Pairing includes restricting who sends messages to your teen’s connected account or being able to turn direct messaging off completely.
While TikTok already has policies for direct messaging in place (for example, only approved followers can message each other), as of April 30, it has deactivated direct messaging for any account registered under the age of 16.
Screen Time Management
If you’re concerned with screen time, you can also control how much time your child spends on the app each day with the Screen Time app. Top creators of the app have partnered with TikTok to encourage their audience to keep tabs on their screen time and when to take a social media break.
With restricted mode, parents can limit inappropriate content from reaching your child. Even without the Family Pairing integrated, TikTok urges parents to talk to their teen about setting up screen time management and Restricted Mode for their wellbeing. This service can be done anytime, with or without Family Pairing enabled.
Why This is Important
TikTok’s new safety features provide parents an opportunity to guide their teen’s social media experience while opening up the conversation about online safety and education. Children as young as 13 are allowed on the app, making it a critical learning experience for both parent and child.
With kids allowed on a wide array of apps at age 13, it’s important to teach them smart online behavior and social media literacy. These features offer parents and children the chance to talk about identifying inappropriate content across all social media platforms.
For more information on TikTok’s latest safety feature updates, click here.
Image courtesy of iStock.