Our kids are growing up in a technology-driven society. As parents who have not always had easy access to this digital world, it can be challenging to keep up with evolving social norms.
With social media platforms like TikTok gaining popularity, there are valid concerns for the parents of older children.
Is TikTok safe for 10-year-olds? According to TikTok’s terms and conditions, all users must be at least 13 years of age to access the full application. However, entering a fake birthday will bypass the restriction. Using the platform can potentially expose children to predators, mature content, bullying, and data breaches.
We’ve put together a comprehensive guide to help you determine the best course of action for your child’s TikTok use. Keep reading to learn more about the dangers, social expectations, and consequences of using this platform at a young age.
TikTok and 10-Year-Olds: What To Know
Children of all ages utilize the platform for entertainment and communication and to gain a social following.
TikTok Age Limit
TikTok’s terms and conditions state that all users must be at least 13 years of age to access the full application. However, a limited version of the app is available to those who don’t meet the age requirement.
Does TikTok Verify Age?
Although you have to enter a birthday at account creation, TikTok does not take additional measures to verify age. In order to bypass the age restriction, all your child has to do is enter a false birth year.
TikTok For Under 13
TikTok’s limited version of the platform for those under 13 has extended privacy policies and restrictions.
Children under 13 can only view videos deemed child safe and clean by TikTok’s team. They aren’t allowed to comment, post videos, or search for users and tags.
The caveat is that the kid-friendly version isn’t commonly utilized. It only exists as part of a privacy lawsuit settled by TikTok, so most parents aren’t aware of it.
There are other ways to protect your child while they use the full version of the app, but doing so violates TikTok’s guidelines.
TikTok For Younger Users: Is It Safe?
No, TikTok isn’t safe for young users, but no social media platform is. The nature of social media is risky because anyone could have access to your child or their information through some means.
TikTok offers Restricted Mode, which was designed to filter mature content for young users. However, exposure to age-inappropriate material can still occur, and parental supervision is recommended.
Family Pairing on TikTok
Parents can pair their child’s account to their own through TikTok’s Family Pairing mode. This feature requires access to your child’s account through their personal device to set up.
Parents utilizing this tool can manage account restrictions, view watch history, and track app activities.
TikTok User Data
TikTok has been the target of some controversy over its privacy policies. While it was established that TikTok doesn’t use data any differently than other media platforms, they are not innocent.
The lawsuit that led to their Under 13 version of the app occurred because they illegally stored the data of minors.
Dangers of TikTok
TikTok, like many other social media platforms, poses a significant danger to the mental, emotional, and physical health of children.
Children can easily bypass privacy measures if not supervised by an adult. This allows full access to mature content such as sexually explicit themes, drug-related activities, and violence.
If your child sets up a false account, then their data and information can be used in accordance with TikTok’s terms and conditions. Like many social media outlets, TikTok uses user data for a variety of activities unrelated to the application.
Up until recently, creating an account meant giving access to your phone’s clipboard even when you weren’t using the app.
Children are more protected through TikTok’s Under 13 version and parental account features.
However, being active in the digital world means that your child is always accessible to some extent. This opens the door for dangerous dialogue with strangers.
People online can be ruthless because they can speak freely and without consequence. They care little about age, circumstance, or the well-being of others.
Cyberbullying is an ever-growing problem for children and teens active online.
How To Monitor Your Child on TikTok
There are several ways to monitor your child on TikTok.
Whether you just check in on their account from time to time, pair your profiles for constant supervision, or require them to use the alternate version of the application depends on your concerns and house rules.
Choosing to monitor your child on social media can be a difficult decision, but doing what’s best for their safety is the priority.
Social Media Apps for 10-Year-Olds: Safest Options
There are several social media platforms designed specifically for children. These applications take extensive safety and privacy measures to safely allow kids to explore the online world.
- Kidzworld: This is a moderated, child-friendly application that allows children to participate in forums and chat with others their age.
- Grom Social: Like with TikTok, children can create videos, message one another, and share content. This app contains safe, curated content for kids and requires parental permission to set up.
- Spotlite: This application is dedicated to teaching children proper online etiquette. Like Instagram, children can post pictures and videos. They can also like and comment on other accounts.
What Does Restricted Mode on TikTok Do?
Restricted Mode filters out mature content that isn’t suitable for younger audiences. Parents can set a passcode in the child’s account to prevent them from disabling the feature.
Is TikTok Safe for 11-Year-Olds?
No, the full version of TikTok requires users to be at least 13 years of age. However, the Under 13 function of TikTok is safe for children who don’t meet the age requirements.
TikTok on its own is not safe or recommended for those under 13. Parents have several options when it comes to monitoring their children’s accounts.
These options range from using a limited version of the app to just keeping an eye on the content their children are consuming. In general, there are better social media alternatives for 10-year-olds.
Charley is a mother of three with a passion for raising good humans. With her children in tow, she studies English and has made a career creating content about motherhood. In her free time, she enjoys traveling within the states to kayak, camp, and hike.