tiktok, one of the newest additions to the list of top social media platforms, has enjoyed immense popularity since its debut three years ago. The app is available in more than 150 countries and has hundreds of millions of active users around the world. Millions of people create, share, watch videos and interact with each other on a daily basis, some doing it for fun, while others trying to make a career out of it in hopes of being the next big influencer.
TikTok is making headlines for other reasons too: India banned the video app and the US government. uu. took steps to ban all transactions with bytedance, tiktok’s parent company. The video app has also been fined by the US Federal Trade Commission for violating the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act and by South Korean authorities for mishandling children’s data.
Users of the app face challenges similar to those of other social media platforms; these include scammers, spammers, and cyberbullies. in this article, we will guide you through the privacy and security options tiktok provides its users to secure and protect their accounts.
protecting your tiktok account
When you register, you have the option to do so using one of the popular single sign-on options, as well as using your phone number or email address. When it comes to managing your account, tiktok keeps it pretty straightforward, and as you’d expect, all the settings are under “manage my account”.
The platform allows you to authenticate your account by either sending a verification text message to your phone number or by authenticating using your email. to be safe, you can go for both options. if you want to add a password, you will be authenticated again via text message; only then can you create one. This may seem like a nifty option, but it’s worth noting that aside from these text messages, there’s no two-factor authentication option, something that most prominent social media platforms offer.
In addition to the standard variety of options we’ve already mentioned, you also have the security option in the same menu. this has an overview of security alerts you should be aware of, such as any suspicious account activity. You can also monitor all the devices you are logged in to. It shows you the device, the means by which you logged into the account (for example, facebook account) and when. you can simply sign out of the devices by tapping them in the menu and then tapping remove.
privacy and security options
this basically works as your hub for managing all permissions and access related to your account. when you create your tiktok account, it is public by default; you can toggle the option in the visibility section, as well as whether the app should suggest your account to users who might be interested in it.
When it comes to security, you could say that tiktok tries to take a holistic approach. one of the options it gives you is to decide whether or not other users can download your videos, but currently, it is only running on a trial basis. however, users can bypass the ban on downloading videos by grabbing them on screen.
to exchange messages with someone, you have to follow them, and they have to follow you. the social networking application considers these contacts as your “friends”. therefore spam or abusive messages from trolls that abound on other social networks are limited by your contact list, mitigating risk as you choose the people who can send you messages. on the other hand, you will probably follow a lot of creators, so it does not eliminate the risk of receiving questionable messages. however, what eliminates the risk is disabling your direct messages entirely. if you don’t want to go that way, you can also block users on a case-by-case basis; they will appear on your block list.
You can also decide if users can duet your videos, which means they combine your videos with theirs. you can choose to turn it off, allow everyone to duet with you, or limit it to just your friends.
while browsing tiktok, you will also see videos that you might want to watch again later, so you like them. these will be collected in the videos you like section of your profile and you can allow everyone to see what you liked or keep it private by toggling a switch in the privacy settings.
Moderating comments is also one of the options offered to users. again, you can turn it off entirely, limit it to friends, or allow everyone to comment. The app also offers a filter, which will automatically filter spam and offensive comments when activated, and you can further refine it by adding specific keywords, which when mentioned, will automatically hide the comment.
before and after uploading, you can still edit some privacy options for individual videos, like allowing duets, commenting, and making the video public or private.
this article should give you a good idea of the privacy and security settings offered by tiktok. However, as with all social networks, these settings tend to get reviewed from time to time, especially as these platforms tend to be scrutinized on how they handle privacy and user data, so the best advice is to audit regularly. your security and privacy settings. . and while you’re at it, why don’t you check your facebook and google accounts too?
if you’re a parent, you might be interested in what kind of parental control tools tiktok has to offer, which we’ll cover in an article in early September.