Understanding Parental Controls for TikTok

With TikTok’s huge popularity, tons of videos with sensitive, misleading, and disturbing content can pop up on your page. This can be extremely harmful, especially for teens and other sensitive groups. Knowing how to filter TikTok’s content can help you avoid such videos. Using parental controls makes it easier for you and your family to have a safe and positive experience while using the platform.

Understanding Parental Controls for TikTok

Here’s our guide for understanding parental controls for TikTok.

What Is Family Pairing?

This option allows parents and teens customize their settings to their liking. This way, you can link your and your teens’ accounts in order to set up parental control and make sure they’re safe while using TikTok.

These are some settings for parental control:

  • Daily screen time which lets you choose how much time your teen can spend watching videos
  • Screen time dashboard which reports on the time your teen spends on TikTok
  • Liked videos, comments, and direct message settings
  • Search, discoverability, and suggesting your teen’s account to others

This is how you can set up Family Pairing:

  1.  Go to the app and select “Profile” at the bottom right.
  2.  Tap the “Menu” button at the top right corner.
  3.  Go to “Settings and privacy.”
  4. Then click “Family Pairing.”
  5.  Choose “Parent” or “Teen.”
  6.  Follow the next steps in order to pair accounts.

Private and Public Accounts

When you first download and create your TikTok profile, your account is automatically public. This means that all of your posted videos, stories and videos you’ve liked and added to favorites are available for all to see. Anyone can follow you, as well as comment and duet videos you’ve posted. But you probably don’t want to share all your data, especially not your children’s.

In order to avoid privacy issues and unwanted comments, your teen’s account should be set to private. This way, their videos can be seen by followers that are friends or people they know in real life.

Here’s how to change your account from public to private:

  1. Tap the bottom right “Profile” icon.
  2. Click the “Menu” button on the top right (button that looks like three lines).
  3. Go to the “Privacy and Settings” screen.
  4. Tap “Privacy and Safety.”
  5. Turn “Private Account” on.

Unfollowing and Removing a User

You or your teen can always opt for unfollowing accounts featuring content that you don’t wish to see, as well as limit their interaction. This means that the user’s content is less likely to show up on the “For You” feed and won’t show on the “Following” section of the app.

This is how you can unfollow an account:

  1. Go to your “Profile” by tapping the bottom right icon.
  2. Tap on “Following” to see who you’re following.
  3. Tap the “Following button to unfollow a user.

You can also tap on the three dots on the user’s name and remove them from your followers.

Blocking a User

You can block accounts in order to avoid interacting with them. By doing so, the blocked user can’t see your teen’s videos nor comment on them. This option is especially useful for making sure your teen doesn’t see content they don’t want to. If other settings don’t work as well for filtering videos they see, blocking a user ensures they won’t see unwanted content.

Blocking someone’s account can be done in three quick steps:

  1. Go to that user’s profile.
  2. Tap the three dots in the upper right corner.
  3. Tap ‘’Block.’’

Restricted Mode

When you enable Restricted Mode, you limit your teen’s exposure to videos that might not be suitable for them. TikTok is actively working on improving this option. While using this mode, if you still see content you don’t find appropriate, you can report the videos.

Note that this feature isn’t currently available on desktop and mobile browsers. Still, you can turn it on in the app. Here’s how to turn on the Restricted Mode:

  1. In the app, click the bottom right “Profile” icon.
  2. Click the “Menu” button on the top right (button that looks like three lines).
  3. Select “Settings and privacy.”
  4. Tap “Content preferences.”
  5. Tap “Restricted Mode.”

You can then follow the steps in the app that allow you to create a password that turns restricted mode off.

What Are Video Keyword Filters?

When you filter a keyword, you won’t see videos in your “For You” and “Following” feeds that contain this word in their descriptions. This is mainly how the algorithm works. The more times you watch the video with certain keywords in the description, the more content with the same words will appear on the “For You” page.

You can type in up to 70 video keywords you don’t want to see. It’s important to know that there are certain words TikTok won’t let you filter.

This is how you can use video keyword filters:

  1. In the app, tap the “Profile” button.
  2. Select the “Menu” button at the top.
  3. Go to “Settings and Privacy,” then “Content Preferences.”
  4. Tap the “Filter video keywords.”
  5. Enter the keywords you want to hide.
  6. Choose what feed you’d like filtered.

Screen Time Limits

TikTok is quite addictive for both adults and teens. One moment you’re checking out the app and next thing you know, it’s been hours and you’ve been scrolling on your phone endlessly. Knowing how to limit you and your family’s time spent on TikTok can save you some trouble.

TikTok’s developers are aware of the app’s hypnotizing powers, which is why they have developed a setting for screen time management. This is how you can set it up:

  1. Select “Screen time” under the app settings.
  2. Click “Screen time breaks” and set the time to take break.
  3. Toggle “Weekly screen time updates.”

Reporting Physical Danger

Lately, we’ve been seeing more TikTok “challenges” and trends that are downright dangerous for teens, or anyone else for that matter. Teens and young adults like to participate in new trends, but seeing this graphic content over and over can be desensitizing. Since the challenges don’t seem as real when they’re on the screen, they may result in serious harm if attempted.

 Although it can be entertaining to see people performing minor stunts, serious harm, injuries, and violence should be reported.

Here’s how you can report content for physical danger:

  1. Click the arrow in the bottom right corner of the video.
  2. Tap “Report.
  3. ChooseViolence or Harm” or “Self injury” based on the content.

Not Interested in Videos

Although the algorithm works to tailor videos to your taste, you may sometimes see a video that you don’t like. You can always use the option “Not interested” when you stumble upon undesired content. Plus, there’s no limit to this feature.

Simply long-press the video in question, tap the “Not interested” icon, and you’ll see less videos of a similar nature.

Tweaking TikTok to Your Preferences

TikTok can be a useful, fun, and creative app once you learn how to utilize it. Making sure your family is safe while they’re scrolling the “For You” page and interacting with others is of utmost importance. Knowing how to limit their spent time and safeguard your teen from harmful content can make the app more enjoyable for both of you.

Have you tried using parental controls on TikTok? Which one works best for you? Let us know in the comments section below.

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