TikTok Safety Guide Launched to Support Schools, Parents and Carers

The guides launched on Safer Internet Day (7th February), a day that promotes the safe, responsible and positive use of digital technology for children and young people, were created as part of EA’s commitment to enhancing the support and guidance offered to schools in relation to social medial.

They provide advice to schools, parents and carers on the basics of how TikTok works, the potential risks associated with it and helpful tips on how to best support children and young people on the use of such platforms.

TikTok is a social media application where users can create, share and watch short videos; and which allows users to express themselves in creative ways such as singing, dancing and performing comedy sketches. However the app has brought challenges and concerns for many schools, parents and carers as highlighted by EA’s Elaine Craig:

“The importance of online safety for children and young people cannot be underestimated. While TikTok is a hugely popular platform, potential risks include social pressures, stranger danger, lack of age verification, and access to explicit content.

“We were delighted to work with online safety experts INEQE and the Department of Education on these guides which are a highly useful resource, and which form part of our long-term strategy to keep young people safe while online.”



Guide for Parents/Carers






Guide for Schools 


“Literally, in seconds, they used my image to blackmail me”

They’re words we hope you’ll never have to say, and we’re asking you, and your friends, to get wise to the ‘amorous’ advances of online fraudsters.

The warning from detectives comes in response to increasing reports of online blackmail of an intimate or sexual nature.  This blackmail is commonly known as ‘sextortion’.

Detective Chief Inspector David McBurney said: “Typically, a person uses a false identity to befriend a victim via social media.  The exchange may start with flirting or flattery, but ends with the victim coaxed into sending intimate images or performing sexual acts online, unwittingly in front of a camera.

“Behind the fake and attractive guise, there’s a criminal. These people are often part of sophisticated and organised crime groups, mostly based overseas. They extort their victims by threatening to share those images or recordings unless demands for money are met. 

“Innocent people are left feeling humiliated and distraught, but the important message is that victims shouldn’t let embarrassment stop them from reporting what’s happened.”

In 2022, the Police Service of Northern Ireland received approximately 40 reports of sextortion a month. This compares to 2020 when between 10 and 20 reports were received per month.

The majority (80 per cent) of victims are males under the age 30; and approximately 15 per cent of these are aged 15 or younger.

Detective Chief Inspector McBurney continued: “My message, in the first instance, is to be on your guard.  Please be aware of the risks of sharing intimate images online, and if someone is pushing you to do this, then alarm bells should be ringing.

“But people do make mistakes, no one is infallible, and if you’ve been a victim of sextortion, then you’re certainly not alone. 

“Don’t panic; don’t respond to demands; and don’t enter into further communication. If you can, confide in a trusted friend or family member, and please contact officers immediately on 101.” 


The Police Service has issued online safety advice, which includes:

  • Don’t get lured or pushed into compromising situations. Trust your gut, and end uncomfortable situations immediately.
  • Always remember that what goes online may well stay online.
  • Be wary about whom you invite or accept invitations from on social networking sites. Do not accept friendship requests from complete strangers.
  • Update the privacy settings on your social networking accounts so only people you know can view your account. Do not include any sensitive or private information in profiles.

For further information and details of organisations who can help, visit www.psni.police.uk/sextortion


Useful links for Safer Internet Day

This Safer Internet Day 2023, we invite you to check out our interactive resource, containing useful links for parents/carers and those who work with children & young people.

If you click on the logos included in the pdf, you will be taken straight through to the corresponding websites / webpages containing information & resources focusing on keeping children and young people safer online.

The weblinks collated are only a sample of the plethora of online internet safety information currently available in the public domain. We simply aim to raise awareness of key sources and further reading for yourselves and the children, young people and families with whom you work.

Please also share with colleagues, family members and friends, if relevant.

#BeSafeOnline ‘Cyber Safety’ Campaign

Being online can be exciting and fun – but some things online can leave you feeling upset, bullied, or even worried.

Just remember that good and bad news travels fast online and you can sometimes find yourself in tricky situations with lasting consequences.

Southern Health & Social Care Trust, South Eastern Health & Social Care Trust and Armagh City, Banbridge & Craigavon Borough Council have all teamed up to support children and young people with the ‘Cyber Safety’ #BeSafeOnline campaign.

Staying safe online does start with you – and there are lots of people here to help you.

If you or someone you know needs support, call one of the numbers below and there will be someone to listen to you and provide you with help.

Southern Trust 028 3756 7100
South Eastern Trust 0300 100 0300

To find out more please visit: www.newrymournedown.org/safeguarding

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