As lawmakers and the Biden administration look to get the popular TikTok app in good standing with the United States, many of its millions of users are looking for ways to protect their own privacy.
Like all social media apps, TikTok clearly collects and shares a lot of your information when you download the app. If you’ve gone into the TikTok settings hoping to change what it can do with your information, you need to take a few other steps.
TikTok’s settings give you limited control of data sharing. It only allows you to make your account private, block accounts, and a few other settings that do nothing to protect your data.
Turn off all sharing (almost)
Instead, go into your phone’s settings and scroll to the bottom of the page until you see the TikTok app. On an Android phone, it’s under settings, apps, and “all apps”. You likely have a long list of apps so you’ll have to scroll to near the bottom of the list.
Chances are, you’ve given TikTok total access to your phone that includes your contacts, camera, microphone, calendar, and location. You can set Photos to none unless you’re uploading photos and videos. If you’re like most people who view TikTok but never upload your own videos. Turn all of these off. Leave Cellular Data turned on or it won’t work unless it’s connected to WiFi.
Make sure “Allow tracking” is turned off. Otherwise, it’ll see and can share websites you visit and things you search for.
It may not be enough to satisfy lawmakers who want TikTok banned in the United States but changing these settings should prevent TikTok from gathering your data.