Like all social networks, TikTok allows you to interact with other users and share your content with the world. But is TikTok safe? Here are five privacy tips to secure your account on TikTok
An app for creating, sharing, and watching short videos, TikTok has become a popular social media platform across the world. It has been downloaded worldwide three billion times and the number of monthly active users has surpassed those of apps like Twitter, Telegram, Pinterest, Snapchat, and Reddit.
The saying, “What is once on the internet will stay on the internet forever” is also true on TikTok. But are users aware of that? Most would say no and that they are not aware of the possible dangers concerning their privacy and security. However, TikTok has several options that users can use to protect their profile from many forms of harm and secure their digital safety.
Make your account private
Users can protect their identity by making their accounts private. TikTok accounts are public by default, but users can make them private by navigating to the “Privacy and Security” settings and turning the “Private Account” toggle on. Also, by not choosing the option, “Suggest your account to others”, users can avoid the possibility that their content is shown to unknown viewers. Many believe that the private account option is safer because it does not allow other users to download their content or check the personal information of the account owners.
Do not overshare information
It is important that users do not overshare personal information that is not necessary for others to know. Users should avoid publicizing information about their location, address, and contacts. If the app asks to share your contacts or Facebook account, it is best to decline the action. Instead of sharing personal information on their accounts, users should try to search for an account directly in the app. If they have already shared contact information with TikTok, they can still remove it by navigating to “Settings and Privacy” and choosing the option “Privacy” and “Sync Contacts and Facebook Friends”.
Choose a strong password
Users should also make sure that their password is strong and that they turn off autosave log-in information. Stronger passwords are longer and more complex, securing users from any possibility of hacking.
Users can make their password strong with the combination of at least eight letters, numbers, and symbols. Users should avoid using sequential numbers or letters; a birth year, birth month, or day; and passwords previously used. Users should also avoid using names from their personal life and instead, use a combination of different unrelated words, numbers, and symbols.
Create an anonymous account to prevent stalking or harassment
The main reason users may create an anonymous account is to seal their information from other people or even TikTok itself. The only necessary information that users need to provide to create an anonymous account is an email address or phone number, username, and profile picture.
There are several ways to make an account anonymous. The easiest one is by simply putting random information into the account. This does not mean making up fake personal information or using personal information from someone else, but rather choosing a made-up username and/or a profile picture of objects unrelated to the user. Other options include creating an account with a single-use email or temporary phone number.
TikTok has recently become a popular target for hackers. The main user segment of this app is teenagers, raising the question of how young people can protect their online safety. One way hackers can take over a user’s account is by using malicious software to encrypt files and install a virus onto a device.
Hackers use various tricks to seize an account. For example, they can invite a user to click messages or links to obtain access to their device. A hacker can also obtain access to a user’s account if the user has a weak password on their account. With the use of malicious software, hackers can infiltrate a user’s system and retrieve their password. When a user opens a file or link, their password is compromised and released to the hacker.
TikTok’s “Privacy” settings and trackers
The regular use of TikTok also increases the digital footprint of the user. This could be detrimental in the future in various ways, and many users are unaware of it. For instance, if a user is attempting to get their first job and the inappropriate content they recorded as teenagers is available to their employers online, this can create a negative view of the user. But at the end, a user can check what TikTok tracks about them, by choosing “Privacy” and “Download your Data” in the app’s settings.
(Edited by William Diep)