Concerns rise after three military branches ban TikTok app

PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - While many use the TikTok app for entertainment or to get away for a little while, you may be giving away more of your personal information than you thought.

Concerns are rising after the TikTok app was banned by three branches of the military. Source: TikTok / MGN

The Army, Air Force, and Coast Guard have all banned the TikTok app on government-issued phones after concerns the app could pose a cyber threat.

Local officials say users need to look twice at an app's fine print before installing it.

Lieutenant J.R. Talamantez with the Panama City Beach Police Department, "You need to be paying attention to the terms you're agreeing to, what information you are allowing these people to obtain and use."

For some local teenagers, they say the ban comes as a shock but also say they're already taking steps to be safe online.

Hank Nichols said, “I kind of watch what I say and do, just to make sure. Better to be safe than sorry always."

Mallaika Strantz added, "Watch who adds and follows you on your social media sites."

Some say since the app is so popular, they believe any leaks would be shut down quickly.

Wyatt Halvorson, who uses TikTok said, "Because there are three-billion users on the platform, I feel like if there ever was a breach it would be okay. It wouldn't be that big of a deal."

While the kids are doing what they can to stay safe online officials also say parents need to be aware of what's on their children's phones.

Lt. Talamantez added, "A rule of thumb that we have is if you're going to allow your child to have any type of social media application, you should have it on your phone too as a parent. One: it allows you the ability to understand it. Two: it allows you the ability to monitor what your child is doing."

Officials say they want kids to have fun on social media, but to be safe while doing it.

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