Many TikTok users have reported experiencing issues with Direct Messages (DMs) and noticing their accounts automatically switched to “private” mode. This change has left several users puzzled and unsure about what’s happening, with some even questioning whether their account may have been compromised. However, these alterations are part of TikTok’s latest privacy updates.

Understanding the Automatic Privacy Changes

If you’ve logged into your TikTok account and found that it has abruptly become private, you’re not alone. This is a situation several TikTok users have experienced recently. Rest assured, your account hasn’t been hacked or banned. It’s likely a result of TikTok’s recent modifications.

Why Has My TikTok Account Become Private?

Though it might initially raise your alarm, there’s a solid reason behind these changes. TikTok has revised its privacy rules, especially for users under the age of 16. The primary alteration revolves around private accounts: all profiles tied to users under 16 will now default to the private setting. Users will need to make an active choice to switch their profiles to public accounts.

Other Privacy Changes for Younger Users

TikTok has also introduced a series of other updates specifically tailored towards the safety of its younger audience:

  • Users below 16 are no longer allowed to comment on videos, and they can only permit their friends or nobody to comment on their videos through settings.
  • Videos made by users under 16 can no longer be remixed or assembled. For users aged 16-17, the default setting will be “Friends Only”.
  • Videos created by users under 16 cannot be downloaded by anyone.
  • The “Suggest your account to others” setting is automatically turned off for users under 16.

It’s important to note that users must be at least 13 years old to have a TikTok account.

The Reason Behind TikTok’s Changes for Users Under 16

The updated rules aim to enhance child safety within the app and encourage young users to make more thoughtful choices about their privacy settings. Elaine Fox, European Privacy Officer for TikTok, expressed, “The privacy rights and online safety of our community are a top priority for TikTok, and we particularly emphasize the privacy and safety of our young users, which is why we are making these important changes.” The objective is to urge young users to actively engage in their online privacy journey, and by doing so early on, it’s hoped they’ll make well-informed decisions about their online privacy.