Staying Safe Online - Latest News

posted 18 Dec 2018, 02:47 by N Nelson

Tik Tok

Currently the most popular free app on the App Store in the US, having been downloaded almost 80 million times, this Chinese video app, TikTok, has also recently taken over Music.aly and is growing in popularity here in the UK. 

A platform for creating and sharing entertaining short-form video content (15 seconds), as well as live broadcasting, users typically post short, comical videos of themselves lip-syncing to a song or film-clip. 

BE AWARE: as with Houseparty, with no system in place to verify a user’s age, inappropriate content (often popular music that does contain explicit language) can and does appear in the stream. 

While privacy settings allow users to decide whether other users can upload and comment on content, when these aren’t selected videos can end up in open forums (e.g. Instagram) and attract negative comments which can ultimately impact mental wellbeing.

Instagram TV (IGTV)

This long form video sharing service was launched in June 2018 and allows users to upload videos up to one hour in length (video capabilities had previously been limited to a maximum of 30 seconds on Instagram). It is essentially a video free-for-all: subscribers can view videos from the people they follow and popular “creators”.  In the long term Instagram wants to host “shows” that will challenge traditional TV.   

BE AWARE: no content restrictions and unmanaged hashtags make it very easy for children and young people to view inappropriate material.


Houseparty allows up to 8 separate people to chat simultaneously using a split screen feature – with separate chat boxes for each member of the ‘party’, meaning participants can see the whole party in real time. Outside of pure recreation, older children and teens enjoy using this app for group school projects. 

BE AWARE: with no minimum age setting, mature content, explicit material and sexting are a risk.  If privacy filters aren’t used, while specific friends may have been selected for the chat, any connections of any of the invited participants can also pop into the chat group.