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April 22, 2024

A new report from cybersecurity firm Feroot Security shows that TikTok can track you even if you’ve never used the app before. This worries me deeply, while the Biden administration is still debating whether the popular social media app should be banned in the United States. Here’s what we know so far.

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How can TikTok track me if I never use the app?

According to Feroot, there are trackers called pixels on TikTok. These pixels can pop up on any website that embeds a TikTok video. These trackers can harvest vast amounts of information, including your usernames, passwords, credit card, banking details, and details about your personal health. Even if a site requires additional logins and authentication, the TikTok pixel simply collects all this information and transmits it around the globe.

Is Facebook listening to you?

People who use TikTok have no idea how it is tracking them. (CyberGuy.com)

TikTok is owned by the Chinese company ByteDance, which must immediately hand over any data and information it collects to the Chinese government upon notification. So your data could be shared with the Chinese government and used to spy on you or spread misinformation about the American people.

MORE: Ask Kurt: Is it safe to view TIKTOK videos outside the app?

What is the Biden administration doing about this?

For the past two years, the Biden administration has been trying to reach an agreement with TikTok on data security. They have warned ByteDance that they may have to sell the app or face a blanket ban on the app across the United States. The app is already banned in UK government-issued devices, and unless a deal can be struck quickly, it won’t be surprising if we start seeing the same ban here.

Tips to help you tell if an online store is real or a scam

The Biden administration has tried to reach an agreement with ByteDance, selling or facing a total ban.

The Biden administration has tried to reach an agreement with ByteDance, selling or facing a total ban. (CyberGuy.com)

How can I limit what information TikTok can access to me?

If you still want to use TikTok, you just need to be careful what you post there. Here are some ways to limit the information TikTok can access from you.

Turn off sharing with your contacts and Facebook friends

  • open your Douyin application
  • click profile icon In the lower right corner
  • click 3 horizontal lines in the upper right corner and click Settings and Privacy
  • click privacy
  • click Sync contacts and Facebook friendssand closure two options

Disable the sharing of personalized ads. That’s it:

  • open your Douyin application
  • click profile icon In the lower right corner
  • click 3 horizontal lines in the upper right corner and click Settings and Privacy
  • scroll down and click advertise
  • closure Ad targeting with Off-TikTok campaigns

AT&T discloses data breach affecting 9 million wireless accounts

Make your account private. Methods as below:

  • open your Douyin application
  • click profile icon In the lower right corner
  • click 3 horizontal lines in the upper right corner and click Settings and Privacy
  • click privacy
  • Open private account

Download your data to find out what information TikTok has collected about you. That’s it:

  • open your Douyin application
  • click profile icon In the lower right corner
  • click 3 horizontal lines in the upper right corner and click Settings and Privacy
  • click account
  • choose download your data
  • click request data. It may take a few days for processing before your data report is available

Will you continue to use TikTok after knowing this information? Let us know what you think.

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