Firstly, I wish to say that I am neither pro neither against TikTok and for some of our businesses we have accounts on this platform so to promote what we do. Though the subject of TikTok, and how safe using it is, is a common subject that seems to hit the headlines from time to time.
“The (TikTok) app was initially launched as Douyin in 2016, in China, by technology company ByteDance” source kaspersky
The fast rise to fame of TikTok and especially it’s country of source started to raise many eyebrows and even concerned The President of the United States, Donald Trump, back in 2020 who considered banning the Chinese social media platform seeing the app as a national security threat. TikTok reached a $92 million class-action settlement in 2021 over lawsuits that it transferred American user data, including personally identifiable information, to China (source govexec).
The security risk concerns extends globally with bans having been forced against usage of TikTok such as within India, Bangladesh, Pakistan and more.
Apple and (Android) Google stores continue to host TikTok for downloading with the Playstore showing that over 1 billion downloads have taken place and a decent 4.4 star rating. In late 2021 the social media platform surpassed 1 billion users and its growth continues as does it stats against other platforms, TikTok has leaped over Twitter, Telegram, Reddit, Pinterest, and Snapchat in monthly active users.
“In 2021, 43% of TikTok’s global audience of TikTok was between 18 and 24 years old” source omnicoreagency
Is TikTok safe for children? This questions could be equally asked of all social media platforms as still as of today not only adult material is shared, but these sites are prime for predators to infleunce children via messaging (especially private / DM messaging). All accounts created by 13-16-year-olds are set to private by default. They also have restricted access to direct messages and livestreaming.
So why such a bad name for TikTok? This is mostly towards the data privacy and security that the social media platform hits the headlines with – For instance ‘TikTok reveals staff in China can SPY on UK user data‘. Your data can be used, to be honest by anyone holding it from your local council to your mobile network, and depending on the restrictions placed on companies on how they can use and store your data, at times the security is breached meaning a law has been broken.