TikTok has improved its parental control options - here’s how to keep your kids safe on the app

Parents worried about what their kids might be watching on TikTok without their knowledge will now be able to set their child’s account to private.

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The new security update on the popular social media app will also allow parents to disable comments on the platform, and enable parents or guardians to link their child’s account to their own.

The update adds to the Family Pairing feature, which was introduced earlier this year, allowing parents to better control what their children see on TikTok.

What is Family Pairing?

Family Pairing was introduced to TikTok in April, and allows parents to manage their child’s screen time on the app. It also lets them restrict the content that appears to their child on TikTok’s ‘For You’ page.

The For You page is content that the app thinks is suited to the user, and is figured out through a complex algorithm.

However, some parents may want to limit the types of content that can appear on their child’s feed. They could feasibly be exposed to any type of video on the app, including age-inappropriate content.

Alexandra Evans, TikTok’s head of child safety public policy in Europe, said Family Pairing was meant to provide teenagers with a “guardrail” as they used the app.

“The updates we are making today are the latest in a series of steps we have taken to give families the tools they need to create the TikTok experience that’s right for them,” she said.

“We know that when people feel safe, they feel free to express their creativity – that’s why safety is at the heart of everything we do.”

How to keep your children safe on TikTok

Parents who are concerned about keeping their children safe on the app can set some limits.

Go to your child’s TikTok account and tap the three dots at the top right corner of the user profile. Then select ‘Digital Wellbeing’ next to the umbrella icon. From there, you can select these two features:

  • Screen Time Management, which can limit the users screentime to a maximum of two hours per day on the app. You can also limit it to 40 minutes a day
  • Restricted Mode, which blocks mature content on the app. This can stop kids coming across age-inappropriate videos. You can lock this setting with a passcode of your choice

How do I set up Family Pairing?

Family Pairing will allow you to adjust the above settings from your own phone.

To set up Family Pairing, first download TikTok on to your phone and create an account. Make sure you have your child’s phone and their TikTok log in details handy.

On both phones, tap the three dots next to the user’s profile, tap Family Pairing and sync your account to your kid’s via the QP code.

It's worth keeping in mind that kids can also re-download the app and create a new account using a different phone number or email address to evade the new restrictions.