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Ask Kurt: Are TiKTok videos protected to view outside of the app?

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Who doesn’t get TikTok videos sent to them by friends or family via text or email, leading us to observe them on our current web browser? Even when you haven’t got a TikTok account, it could possibly make you vulnerable to them.

Bellamarie M, who steadily watches TikTok videos outside of the app, wrote to me concerned about this very issue:

“None of our devices have the TikTok app but my husband uses Facebook and sometimes will view a TikTok video, mostly using the phone. Can his data/usage be captured by just viewing or does the app should be installed on the device getting used? Our phones do have a security app installed that scans for security issues but desired to get your input on the matter.”

In the case of our personal information on social media, we actually must watch out, especially relating to TikTok. You see, TikTok is owned by a Chinese company, ByteDance, which is required by law to offer data and knowledge they collect to the Chinese government at a moment’s notice. TikTok’s fairly advanced algorithm can easily track your search history, leaving me wondering just how much the Chinese government knows about those of us using TikTok.

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In the case of our personal information on social media, we actually must watch out, especially relating to TikTok.
(Kurt Knutsson )

Does TikTok follow you outside of the App?

Bellamarie M’s concerns are valid, as TikTok has been known to be a more significant threat to 1’s privacy and security than every other social media app available today. TikTok is thought for tracking the behavior of all its users, namely the sorts of videos they view, like, and share.

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In addressing Bellamarie’s query regarding watching TikTok videos on Facebook, you ought to be aware of a couple of things:

1) Sometimes, you will see videos with the “TikTok” logo on it playing on Facebook. When you watch that video on Facebook, it could be an extracted video living on Facebook. This extracted video doesn’t connect with TikTok; due to this fact, TikTok cannot track you in any capability. 

2) Chances are you’ll see a thumbnail with a play icon inside Facebook, with a gray bar below it indicating that the source is TikTok. When you click that play icon, it can bring you to TikTok on their webpage or of their app. 

Now, if you’ve got an account with TikTok and also you’re dropped at your logged-in page or app to observe this, then some tracking is going on.

An example of how a TikTok video may appear on Facebook.

An example of how a TikTok video may appear on Facebook.
(Kurt Knutsson )

Nevertheless, suppose you’re dropped at the non-logged-in TikTok web page to view the video without logging in to a TikTok account. In that case, TikTok might still be tracking you.

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Based on a Consumer Reports study, TikTok does track certain information, resembling your IP address and choose browsing history, while you’re using the app or website, whether you’re logged in to a TikTok account. A spokesperson confirmed, nevertheless, that they’re only tracking people and not using a TikTok account for “aggregated reports,” not intended to barrage them with ads – as a substitute to “improve the effectiveness” of TikTok’s own promoting service by examining their likes and dislikes.

What information is TikTok collecting?

So far as we all know, TikTok will not be attempting to hack into your bank accounts or tamper along with your social security. As a substitute, they follow your behavior on the app and across the web to find out your interests, likes, and dislikes.

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Through pixels, other corporations can use this information shared with TikTok for promotional purposes. Must you be watching TikTok videos exclusively on one other platform, resembling Facebook or Instagram, and have never created a TikTok account, they’ve access to far less of your information than they’d otherwise.

Through pixels, other companies can use this information shared with TikTok for promotional purposes.

Through pixels, other corporations can use this information shared with TikTok for promotional purposes.
(Kurt Knutsson )

Use TikTok at your individual risk

All concerns regarding using TikTok are definitely comprehensible, and while for some it’s irresistible, have in mind that the neatest way when you are going to make use of TikTok is to limit as much information you may that TikTok can access from you.

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These settings limit how much information TikTok can access from you

  • Disable sharing your contacts and Facebook friends with TikTok
  • Disable personalized ad targeting
  • Keep your profile anonymous
  • Limit people finding you.
  • Keep your account private by clicking on profile-> then clicking on the menu bar-> then clicking on settings and privacy-> then clicking on. privacy-> then activate the private account

Find out how to adjust all your privacy settings on TikTok by searching

Discover how you can adjust all of your privacy settings on TikTok by searching “privacy on TikTok” by clicking the magnifying glass icon at the highest of CyberGuy.com. 
(Kurt Knutsson)

Discover how you can adjust all of your privacy settings on TikTok by searching “privacy on TikTok” by clicking the magnifying glass icon at the highest of CyberGuy.com. 

Discover just how much TikTok knows about you

Anyone who does have a TikTok account has a right to request all data TikTok has collected from them. To do that:

  • Launch the TikTok app
  • Go to your profile on the underside right, then tap the three-line menu at the highest right corner
  • Tap Settings and Privacy > Privacy > tap Download Your Data
  • TikTok will send you a link in a couple of days to download your data
  • The link expires 4 days after being sent

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Be mindful there may be lots of data TikTok is collecting that might be used later against you.  The more you employ TikTok, the more they know what causes a response in you.  TikTok learns and records which videos capture your attention most, and what videos you interact with or like. All it takes is for communist China to make a decision to take over TikTok to feed you propaganda.  The scariest part is that you will never understand it happening.

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Kurt “CyberGuy” Knutsson is an award-winning tech journalist who has a deep love of technology, gear and gadgets that make life higher together with his contributions for Fox News & FOX Business starting mornings on “FOX & Friends.” Got a tech query? Get Kurt’s CyberGuy Newsletter, share your voice, a story idea or comment at CyberGuy.com.

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