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Instagram and TikTok are popular with kids. What do parents need to know?

The internet is an integral part of the digital lives of young people in Australia. However, engaging online can be confronting.

Teens spent an average of 14.4 hours a week online, for a range of activities, including:

  • researching topics of interest – 95%
  • watching videos, movies or TV – 93%
  • chatting with friends – 93%
  • listening to music – 92%
  • online gaming – 77%

Approximately 57% of teens Instagram and more than 38% use TikTok as at September 2020.

By using these social media platforms, teens open their lives up to many experiences, but not all will be positive experiences.

Behind the scenes of these free Apps, data is being recorded, tracked and even shared for profit to companies the user may never have heard of. Once the user has ‘Agreed’ to the terms and conditions of the Apps, they effectively give that App worldwide copyright to everything they post online.

However, the teen user may not understand (or consciously care) that their following information may be tracked, shared and sold:

  • Geo Location
  • Sensitive Information including contacts, photos, emails and SMS.
  • Contacts and Contact Info
  • Online Purchases and Financial Info
  • Search History and Browsing History

The best advice for parents is to learn more so they can help their teens

There are many resources on the web that can assist parents to discuss these privacy concerns with teens.

The South Australian Commissioner for Children and Young People is an independent position, established under the Children and Young People (Oversight and Advocacy Bodies) Act 2016.

You can download the Parent Quick Guides here – Instagram and TikTok


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