TikTok x Safer Internet Day: How well protected are you online?

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Aden - Yasmine El Tohamy - TikTok marks 2020 Safer Internet Day with a special awareness campaign

TikTok is all the rage on the internet right now, and it's hard not get caught up in the platform's compilation of creative and quirky user-generated clips. We've got to admit, the entertaining app even had us trapped us in an endless loop of viral videos too many times, and we absolutely love it!

As its popularity continues to soar high among the young at heart across the region, TikTok is keeping things real by addressing concerns over online privacy and internet security. The app is accessible for users aged 13 years and above, and to ensure that users can freely express themselves, TikTok is highly aware of the need to promote a safe and positive environment. To date, the platform enforces a set of tools that could help users protect themselves - through its privacy settings, filters, in-app reporting and a series of other features.  On the occasion of 2020 Safer Internet Day, TikTok decided to take things a step further by initiating an in-app safety quiz that is geared to raise awareness about online safety and spread positivity.

The quiz sheds light on important topics, ranging from keeping account details private to understanding phishing. TikTok also advises users to adopt a habit of tweaking its safety settings to gain better control of their online presence and wellness.

TikTok's safety features in view:

- Screen Time Management: As addictive as it may be, TikTok understands the importance of going offline and reconnecting with the real world. So, it set up a time management system that limits the app use to 40, 60, 90 or 120 minutes a day! The feature is password-protected and valid for 30 days, which additionally benefits parents, in particular.

- Restricted Mode: TikTok is meant to entertain people aged 13 and above, however, there may be content inappropriate for younger audiences. The Restricted Mode feature can be activated with a password in place that is valid for 30 days. Powered by AI, the tool lets users have better control over the type of content they view.

- Filter comments: Cyberbullying and nasty comments are common on the Internet, but that doesn't mean users have to accept that. The comment control feature helps users automatically filter out sensitive comments related to race, religion, gender and politics, among others.

- Privacy controls: Users can keep their content visible to a select few, and also control online activities, such as accessibility to comments, reactions, messages, and maintaining followers and a block list. In addition, they can hide their "Like" list, and control the download feature to reduce privacy concerns. 

And that's not all, users can immediately report offensive content or behaviour directly to TikTok via its in-app reporting feature. Its Safety Centre is also localised according to the user's region - available in English and Arabic in the UAE - with complete information on safety policies, tools and resources for a safe and enjoyable TikTok experience!

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