There have been several concerns regarding the security of the multi-million social media application, TikTok, in the past. However, people still continue to use the app due to many reasons, mainly because of its educational or entertainment benefits. The security or privacy concerns for users on the app remain, however, and so far there have not been public addresses from the parent company, ByteDance.
If you as a user, whether that’s a passive user who just scrolls and watches content or as an actual content creator on the app, can take your own steps to make sure you are doing everything to keep your personal data away from TikTok. The first thing to do is never sync your contacts to the application, no matter how many times it asks you or seeks your permission to do so. Similarly, do not sync or add other social media accounts on the platform as a way to manage or link them together, as there is a lot that can be tracked through in-app links.
Another important aspect to cover in terms of your privacy if you are a TikTok user is to ensure you check the ‘Ads personalization’ settings in your app. This you can find within your app’s privacy settings from the main Settings feature. Within this feature, make sure you press and turn off “Use of Off-TikTok Activity for Ad Targeting.” This will stop third-party apps or advertisers from tracking you or information about you. It will not entirely limit the ads you are able to see on your app, but it will definitely stop the app from using your personal data to place and present ads.
If you are not a contact creator yourself or wish to make content or get famous, try using the app privately. It allows you the same features to access other’s content but it protects your data from the public eye. There are many ways you can make sure you are aware and protected of the settings and data collection tactics of TikTok, you can find those settings with only a little bit of probing within the application.