By: Nia Nelson, Senior
Tik Tok is the infamous social media app trending on IOS and Android for creating and sharing short lip-sync, comedy, and talent videos. Tik Tok was launched by Chinese developer ByteDance in 2017, for markets outside of China. Many teens’ and other audiences’ usage of the app continues to make Tik Tok one of the world's fastest-growing social media platforms, known for its quirky memes and viral singalongs.
Besides the quirkiness and the entertainment on the app, there have been some internal issues on the developers side. The app, Tik Tok, has been vulnerable to some harms and dangers by outsiders. The app is now susceptible to hackers having access to users accounts. This has allowed hackers to manipulate user’s data and reveal personal information. A very current article, “Major TikTok Security Flaws” in the The New York Times cites that, “The weaknesses would have allowed attackers to send TikTok users messages that carried malicious links.”
This means that once a user selects the link they are in jeopardy of being invaded by these attackers. The link will not necessarily say “attackers” or appear as harmful, but instead the message may read: “Click here to see Tik Toks of you.” Users, not knowing better, may select the link. Once opening the link, attackers have the ability to take control of a user’s account. They can upload videos and have access to private videos and other private information provided by the user, invading the the level of privacy agreed by the creators of the app.
Due to these malicious claims, the US government has initiated an investigation of the inner workings of Tik Tok. They believe that because of Tik Tok's ties to the Chinese government, the hackers may be coming from inside the company. Tik Tok has denied any accusations of wrongdoing. The future of Chinese technology in the United States has been questioned by lawmakers and regulators. However, the flaws have since been patched, and TikTok says it has no evidence that the vulnerability was ever exploited, or that any breaches to user accounts occurred.
In conclusion, users should be reassured that this is an issue being handled for users’ safety. Although no one has reported Tik Tok for invasion of privacy or hacking, users should remain aware as to not become victims in the future.
I’m Ecuadorian and Bahamian American. I enjoy writing, drawing and listening to music. I’m a big music lover!!