In this day and age of technology, and the Internet, and advanced networks such as operating our phones and banking, we need to know when special problems arise. Just as at Compumatrix need to realize when an entity is using people’s information for storage without asking. Compumatrix has folks who watch for breaches in security; but what about us and our security and devices? So this article is a security warning more than anything else since Tic Tok is the fastest growing social trend among young people on Earth. I know several of my grandchildren use this application, and they love it.
Tic Tok is an application for making and sharing short videos. This video-sharing social networking platform owned by the Chinese company ByteDance and was first launched Douyin in 2016. Tic Tok has evolved and moved across the world year by year since its inception in 2016. But, after it hit the United States markets, it has become the fastest social media app. to reach one billion users.
This application allows its users to create short videos of 3 to 15 seconds, and short looping videos up to 60 seconds. With the acquisition of Musical.ly, a program working with music and lip-sync videos positions Tic-Tok to attract every person with a young and wild side.
At this point 2018, Tic Tok had been made available in over 150 markets, and 75 languages. Tic Tok had also been downloaded more than 100 million times at the Apple Store during the first half of 2018. These numbers surpassed Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram to become the world’s most downloaded iOS app.
One of Tic Tok’s newest features of 2020 is Virtual Items of Small Gestures. Based on China’s significant practice of social gifting, many companies took advantage of Tic Tok. They were building support and encouragement in this Tic Tok community during these times of lockdown and quarantine because of COVID.
Tic Tok utilizes an A.I. To build and analyze users’ interests and preferences through their interactions with the content. Then it displays a personalized feed for each user, thus creating a representation of that person. The Algorithm Tic Tok uses processes the user’s preferences. And then based upon the videos they like, comment on, and how long they watch a video further enhances the representation of each individual. Tic Tok now takes this representation and provides content that this individual would enjoy.
There are 11 other programs similar to Tic-Toc, but none of them has grown as robust or as fast. They are:
Music Video Show
You may ask what, does this have to do with business? What does this have to do with Compumatrix?
A lot actually if you consider how vested we are, and all businesses are these days in electronic social media. Compumatrix is technology, and our company is information based upon Blockchain.
From the input, I get from my kids and my grandkids this platform is fun and easy to use. I watched Faith do a couple of short videos, and, it is easy to use. I noticed Faith was watching and using this program all the time, so I asked Athena (my Daughter) about her usage. Athena says she is somewhat addicted and started monitoring her use of Tic Tok.
Up to this point, I did not know that many users have become addicted and can’t stop using it. An addiction reduction feature was added in 2018 to Tic Tok’s predecessor Douyin encouraging you to take a break every 90 minutes. Another concern was with users’ attention spans, with these videos being short. Users were consistently watching short video clips. Studies showed a decrease in overall attention spans, which brought up a new problem with very young users whose brain is still developing.
If this was not enough to give you concern, let me tell you Tic Tok has a very dark side too.
To keep in mind; Tic Tok hosts short self-produced videos of people doing funny, skilled, or stupid things of themselves or others. Many even use this as a messaging service with each other. So this platform is very popular with teenagers and young adults.
Remember, we said Tic-Tok is owned by a Chinese company ByteDance. But perhaps I did not mention that last month ByteDance was fined for violating child privacy laws in the United States. And now, I am concerned about the children I know using it.
It turns out that Tik-Tok is even worse than anyone could have imagined;-
A researcher reverse engineered TikTok and determined what information was being returned to ByteDance. The application collects everything about the users’ phone, the phone’s hardware specs and every app that has been used. Tic Tok doesn’t stop there it pings the phone’s GPS every 30 seconds to know where the phone and its user is at all times. Tic-Tok knows which WiFi networks the user connects to, and documents the address of the router as well as every other device connected to each system.
Tic Tok has written its code to allow it to upload software to android phones, and then run that software without the users’ knowledge. It could be surveillance software, adware, or malware, all of which are both illegal and unethical worldwide.
So just what, or where does this information that ByteDance gets go? Right back to China.
So what is being done with this security risk to our children and our phones as a whole? Not much yet, but India has banned Tic Tok along 58 other China-based apps. Indian officials said that these apps were a direct threat to national security.
The United States is considering a ban on Tic Tok, but to date has not released any final decisions.
So as parents and grandparents, we need to see if we are comfortable having every aspect of our children’s lives known and where they are all the time? Especially since all of this information being shared with the Chinese government. Kids are taken all the time and sold into various kinds of slavery
I am not at ease with Tic-Tok and am articulating this information to help people realize the real security threat Tic Tok is. And my recommendation is not to allow Tic Tok on any device your family may have in your household. Also, if parents allow social media for their kids, then stick with Instagram and Snapchat for the younger generations. At least we know they seem to adhere to child privacy laws.
OK, let’s say we don’t let our children use this app. But, considering what this program can do are you not just a little worried about what information it is also taking on your business, or private information to share with the Chinese?