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Netsafe warns parents about TikTok, as under 11s jumping on board despite 13+ rating

Netsafe is urging parents to keep an eye on their children's social media usage, as the video sharing app TikTok surges in popularity.

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India has already blocked the app over privacy concerns. Source: 1 NEWS

A recent survey from NZ On Air shows it's the most used form of social media for those under the age of 11-years-old, despite TikTok's usage policy stating the app is only for those aged 13+.

Martin Cocker, Netsafe's Chief Executive told 1 NEWS that parents should be actively monitoring what apps their children are using.

"If you are happy for your child under thirteen to be on that platform, then our advice is that you manage it very, very closely."

Mr Crocker said TikTok is still relatively new, but his office is already dealing with reports of bullying on it, a problem seen across most other platforms.

"It is a company and an entity that we have a limited relationship with," he said.

"Sometimes it is difficult to manage that risk."

TikTok declined to be interviewed by 1 NEWS, but said in a statement that it takes reports of underage users and bullying seriously.

"Parents should not allow a child under the age of 13 to use the app. If you learn that your child under the age of 13 has registered for a TikTok account, you may alert us at privacy@tiktok.com."

TikTok is also facing government level action in the United States, over allegations it's funnelling data to the Chinese Government.

US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, recently revealed the government was looking at banning the app, following in the steps of India.

TikTok's owners ByteDance have repeatedly denied the allegations, and is reportedly considering operating as a US company to quell fears.

A spokesperson for Communications Minister Kris Faafoi said there are no current government level discussions around the app and its security.