Wake County parents taking precautions with TikTok amid security concerns

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RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Security concerns over the popular social media app Tik Tok have some U.S. government leaders wanting to shut it down.

Many Wake County parents are familiar with TikTok.

“Oh my goodness, life is on Tik Tok,” said Apex mom Jodi Kandl.

Users upload and watch a variety of short videos based on different interests.  

“My 9-year-old, he watches cooking stuff and he’s amazed with all the different things you can do,” Kandl said.

While Kandl says her older daughter enjoys the dance videos.

“She’s needed that. She’s needed that outlet to do something other than schoolwork or other than playing with her brothers for the 350th time,” Kandl said.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said this week the U.S. is looking at banning TikTok along with other Chinese social media apps. There are concerns the Chinese government will get people’s private information.

“We have been engaged in a constant evaluation about ensuring we protect the privacy of American citizens,” said Pompeo.

A cybersecurity expert told CBS 17 over the phone that users’ data could be accessed from the app.

Hackers look for data by searching keywords.

He recommended updating your device, downloading software protections and looking at every app’s privacy settings.

“As a parent, I think that’s our job to read that,” said Kandl.

Kandl said she’s going to allow her kids to stay on TikTok for now.

“It’s another app they’re on, I mean it could be just as bad as some video game they’re playing and I don’t know what they’re playing, but somebody else is watching them on it,” said Kandl.

She said she’s going to keep monitoring and taking precautions.

TikTok has said the company is led by an American CEO with a high priority on promoting a safe and secure app. They said they don’t provide user data to the Chinese government.

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