How to set up parental controls on TikTok

When cyber safety is discussed, parental control always comes up. TikTok is a twelve-years-and-over rated app and at face value, we can say that it is okay to be used for teenagers. While this may be the case, sometimes the short videos uploaded could be too strong or too explicit for teenagers to see. TikTok enables parents or guardians of young TikTok users to make sure that the content being taken in by their children is safe and appropriate for their age. Parents can also establish control in terms of app time usage.

You can set up parental controls on TikTok in the following main ways:

  1. Family pairing
  2. Screen Time Management
  3. Using the ‘Restricted Mode’

The way to activate the settings is the same for Android phones as it is for Apple phones. I shall give details on how you can monitor your child’s TikTok activities. TikTok identifies parental control features as falling under ‘Digital Wellbeing’.

See also: How to protect your TikTok account

Family pairing

This setting is TikTok’s way of showing the parents of young consumers that they are aware of TikTok’s ability to negatively influence a child. As a parent, you need to have an account of your own before you do family pairing. As you do this with your teenager, make sure you explain why it is important. Use the following steps to activate it:

  1. Open the app on your phone and log in using your details. Do the same using the teenagers’ phone.
  2. Open your profile tab from the ‘Me’ button on the bottom-right corner.
  3. When it opens, tap on the three dots button on the top-right corner. The ‘Settings and privacy’ screen will show.
  4. Under the ‘General’ section, tap on ‘Digital Wellbeing’.
  5. Then, choose ‘Family Pairing’ which is by default turned off as is all the other options.
  6. When they ask who is using the TikTok account, choose ‘Parent’ for yourself and ‘Teen’ for him/herself.
  7. Your app will open the ‘Keeping TikTok family-friendly’. Tap on ‘Continue’.
  8. A QR (Quick Response, black and white) will show on your screen. Ask the teenager to use his phone’s camera to scan. Your account will now be linked to theirs. Whenever the teenager disables the feature, the grown-up will be notified.

It is important to note that family pairing makes a parent a guardian co-owner of the account. They can report accounts, comments or users that they feel are unhealthy to the wellbeing of the teenager. Family pairing also controls the following two features:

Screen Time Management

The steps are quite similar to the previous section, only that you use the teen’s phone app (or yours if you activated Family Pairing).

After getting to the ‘General’ section, tap on ‘Digital Wellbeing’. Then, choose ‘Screen Time Management’.

Tap on the red ‘Turn on Screen Time Management’ button. Set a password that will help you to manage how much time the teenager uses the app. After doing so, the setting will be turned on.

Using the Restricted Mode

This is quite an important setting. If you need TikTok to filter content that is inappropriate to the audience of interest (the teenager), you should activate this. TikTok has its ways of flagging down such content, although it is yet to tell its users how it does.

The steps are quite similar to the one in the two sections above but I will highlight them for the sake of convenience: Me > Settings > General > Digital Wellbeing > Restricted mode

If you had set a password when you were activating screen time, you will not be prompted to set up another one here.

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