CALL 713.222.TIPS (8477)

Social Media Safety Setting Updates You Should Know About

We are glad to see these platforms taking steps to protect our children’s safety online. Here are some safety setting updates on TikTok, YouTube, and Instagram that every parents should know about:


TikTok implemented new parental controls in January of 2021. This includes the introduction of “family pairing” which allows parents or guardians to link their account to their teens account. Once this is done, parents are given access to a plethora of parental controls including:

  • Screen Time Management: Decide how long your teen can spend on TikTok each day. You can set your teen’s screen time limit directly from your own account, and if your teen has multiple devices, the set time limit will apply to each device individually.
  • Restricted Mode: Restrict the appearance of content that may not be appropriate for all audiences.
  • Search: Decide whether your teen can search for content, accounts, hashtags, or sounds.
  • Discoverability: Decide whether your teen’s account is private (your teen decides who can see their content) or public (anyone can view their content).
  • Suggest account to others: Decide whether your teen’s account can be recommended to others.
  • Direct Messages: TikTok users become eligible for direct messages at 16. Parents may restrict who can send messages to the connected account, or turn off direct messaging completely. Please note: direct messaging is automatically turned off for registered accounts between the ages of 13 and 15.
  • Liked Videos: Decide who can view the videos your teen liked.
  • Comments: Decide who can comment on your teen’s videos.

Learn more about these updates in our Cyber Safety Conversation in partnership with T-Mobile video here:


Parents will soon be able to choose from three different content settings on YouTube based on their preferences and their child’ developmental stage.

  • Explore: For children ready to move on from YouTube Kids and explore content on YouTube, this setting will feature a broad range of videos generally suitable for viewers ages 9+, including vlogs, tutorials, gaming videos, music clips, news, educational content, and more.
  • Explore More: With content generally suitable for viewers ages 13+, this setting will include an even larger set of videos, and also live streams in the same categories as “Explore.”
  • Most of YouTube: This setting will contain almost all videos on YouTube, except for age-restricted content, and it includes sensitive topics that may only be appropriate for older teens.


Instagram will be implementing a new Parents Guide in collaboration with The Child Mind Institute and Connect Safely.

  • Will begin restricting direct messaging between teen users and adults that do not already follow that teen
  • Will use artificial intelligence and machine learning to try to more accurately predict user’s age.
  • Will use prompts or “safety notices” to encourage teens to engage in safe conversations with adults they are already friends with on the platform especially if the adult user have been “exhibiting potentially suspicious behavior”
    • These prompts will not only alert the teen of suspicious behavior, but also give them the opportunity to block, report, or restrict the user.
  • They have already implemented new steps for new users who are under 18 when creating an account that automatically prompts them to make their account “private”

Learn more about Instagram safety settings in our Cyber Safety Conversation in partnership with T-Mobile video here:

Thank you to T-Mobile and Connectivity Source for making our Cyber Safety Initiative possible. 

Posted by on 31 Mar 2021