Fans Slam ‘Teen Mom’ Farrah Abraham for Her TikTok Videos with Sophia. How Can You Protect Your Kids on the Platform?
Former Teen Mom star Farrah Abraham has been criticized on many occasions for posting TikTok videos and photos some describe as questionable. Among the concerns are that Sophia might become the target of predators.
How can Abraham protect herself and Sophia from the dangers lurking online? If your child is begging you to sign up for TikTok or your child is already on the platform, how can you make sure everyone stays safe? Showbiz Cheat Sheet spoke with Kate Ward of SecurityNerd.com. Here are her tips on how you can protect your kids on TikTok. She also weighed in on Abraham’s situation.
Showbiz Cheat Sheet: What are some of the dangers of a young child using TikTok? Is TikTok OK for Kids?
Kate Ward: The biggest danger, of course, is strangers will be seeing your child and may try to contact her. In a worst-case scenario, they may take screenshots or attempt to download your child’s videos and use them for inappropriate purposes.
Another danger that most don’t consider is that videos could be used for bullying purposes in your child’s school or within her friend group. Your child is putting herself out there on the internet and the results are not always positive.
CS: How young is too young when it comes to a child having a TikTok account? What age range is appropriate?
KW: TikTok actually requires that users be at least 13 years old and asks that any users under 18 have their parents’ permission. That said, lots of kids much younger than 13 are clearly using TikTok. Thirteen and above is most appropriate for using TikTok, but it’s really up to the parent. If you feel like your child is mature enough to handle TikTok, that’s fine. Just make sure you utilize parental controls as needed and that you keep an eye on your child’s account–both on the videos and on any incoming messages she may get via the app.
CS: What are some of the parental controls available on TikTok?
KW: There actually is a good range of parental controls available. You can make your child’s profile private (this is the most effective control), which means that only people who are approved can even see her videos at all. You can also turn on restricted mode to restrict what kind of content she sees on the app (note, this is not foolproof.) You can also limit who is allowed to send your child messages, comment on her videos, or duet with your child.
CS: What advice would you give to Teen Mom star Farrah Abraham on how she can protect Sophia from predators on TikTok?
KW: The best advice would be to make her account private and make sure that she, Farrah, is involved in approving which followers can see her daughter’s profile and video. If she doesn’t want to go that far, she can limit who can message or comment on videos and save her daughter from receiving really negative comments from strangers.
One thing working in Farrah’s favor is that she seems to be pretty involved already. She’s doing videos with her daughter which means she is aware of the environment herself and her daughter probably feels comfortable talking to her about her TikTok experience. We can set all the parental controls available, but open communication with our kids is the best tool we have when it comes to their experiences online. Unfortunately, it’s unlikely the negative parts of the internet will disappear any time soon, so it’s a good idea to talk to your kids about that reality and discuss ways to handle that type of negative attention.
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