Archive for TikTok

Summertime Safety Tips from TikTok

Posted in Commentary with tags on May 24, 2022 by itnerd

June is Internet Safety Month, and with family travel set to boom this summer, TikTok is encouraging families to have the “summertime safety and security talk.” 

As part of TikTok’s ongoing efforts to inspire the global community on ways to #BeCyberSmart, today they launched a dedicated Summertime safety tips in-app Discover page sharing basic safety tools and security tips from popular TikTok creators and leading organizations. Their goal is to help ensure that families have a safe, fun, and secure online experience — no matter where their summer travels or adventures may take them! 

More details are available via TikTok’s Newsroom.

Indigo And TikTok Forge Partnership In Wake of #BookTok’s Phenomenal Canadian Popularity

Posted in Commentary with tags , on May 12, 2022 by itnerd

Today, Indigo, Canada’s leading book and lifestyle retailer, announces a partnership with entertainment platform TikTok Canada, to launch a new #BookTok Book Club—a virtual space for TikTok’s global community to share in their love of reading by exploring new titles together alongside celebrated authors. The book club will kick off this May with Canadian author Xiran Jay Zhao’s Iron Widow.

A new title and author will be announced each month, and will be featured in an exclusive LIVE event hosted by Indigo and the author for the #BookTok community that includes a Q&A. Fans can discover TikTok Indigo Book Club content in-app, which will include features, creator content, and more. To celebrate the partnership and the May book pick, Indigo will be hosting an in-person event at Indigo Metrotown on Thursday, May 26 with Xiran Jay Zhao, which will also be streamed LIVE on Indigo’s TikTok account

Xiran Jay Zhao is a first-generation immigrant from small-town China who was raised by the Internet. A recent graduate of Vancouver’s Simon Fraser University, they wrote science fiction and fantasy while they probably should have been studying more about biochemical pathways. Iron Widow is their first novel, a blend of Chinese history and mecha science fiction for young adult readers, published by Penguin Teen Canada.

The #BookTok community on TikTok has had a significant impact on the book business, including fueling the resurgence of reading by a younger demographic, bringing attention to backlist titles, and resulting in incredible success stories for authors. The in-app content is a fantastic way to get book recommendations from other avid readers, and offers an opportunity for people to engage with one another, virtual book club style. 

Popular #BookTok recommendations are available on Indigo’s website and through curated #BookTok displays in stores, and continue to be updated as new titles rise in popularity on TikTok. For more information, and to join the conversation, follow Indigo on TikTok

Guest Post: #BeCyberSmart: Tax Season Tips From TikTok

Posted in Commentary with tags on March 31, 2022 by itnerd

At TikTok, we’re always looking for ways to uplift our global community to #BeCyberSmart. Last year, the IRS identified over $10 billion in losses from tax fraud and financial crimes. With Tax Day around the corner, cybercriminals may be primed to unleash a range of nefarious tactics — whether on a connected device or a landline — to trick people into unwittingly handing out sensitive information. 

Some TikTok creators are taking their expertise to #TaxTok to help others stay ahead of fraudsters that continually evolve their tactics. These Certified Public Accountants, lawyers, and fraud fighters are spotlighting ways to avoid falling victim to scams. Drawing from the IRS, along with leading experts like the Identity Theft Resource Center (@idtheftcenter__) and National Cybersecurity Alliance (@natlcybersecalliance), we’re spotlighting some of our favorite tips to #BeCyberSmart this tax season.

  • Ignore imposters – Phishing and smishing are the most common tactics used to steal personal data. The IRS will not call, text, email, or visit your home. They will not accept payment in gift cards, prepaid debit cards, wire transfers, or cryptocurrency. Don’t open links or attachments from suspicious senders. Scams related to COVID-19, Economic Impact Payments, and other tax law changes are increasingly common this year. 
  • Verify what you see – Fake IRS sites are scattered all over the online world. The official site is IRS.gov, and all IRS.gov web page addresses begin with http://www.irs.gov/. Beyond tax tips, if you’re on e-commerce sites, ensure the web address begins with“https” – the “s” is for secure communications over the computer network. Also check for the “padlock” icon in the browser’s address bar meaning there’s a secure connection between the browser and the server where the website is hosted.
  • Use secure Wi-Fi, VPN, and 2-step verification – Don’t trust unsecured public Wi-Fi, especially in airplanes, airports, malls, or public transit. Use a virtual private network (VPN) whether on the go or at home, and secure home Wi-Fi networks with a strong password. This is essential as wireless printers, door locks, and refrigerators create new access points for people with bad intentions. Enable 2-step verification for an added layer of security.
  • Have a back-up plan – Use a secure cloud service or external hard drive to copy important information, like photos and files on computers and mobile devices, as a lifeline to recover financial or other tax data if lost.
  • Protect with a PIN – Taxpayers who can validate their identities can obtain an Identity Protection PIN, a six-digit code that prevents an identity thief from filing a fraudulent tax return using your Social Security number.

Reporting potential scams helps prevent future attempts and protect others. Report IRS, Treasury, or other scam attempts to the FTCIRS, Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration, or Identity Theft Resource Center. If you encounter suspicious activity in-app, report it to TikTok’s Safety Center, and follow @TikTokTips for more ways to #BeCyberSmart.

“Whether or not you are ready for tax season, the identity criminals are, so it’s a good time to remind friends and family to stay vigilant and #BeCyberSmart,” said Eva Velasquez, CEO of the Identity Theft Resource Center (@idtheftcenter_). “File your taxes as early as possible, do your research before handing information over to a tax preparer, and use a secure internet connection to file online or mail it directly from the post office if you don’t.”

“What’s scarier than the IRS? Someone pretending to be from the IRS,” said PJ Rohall, Co-Founder of About-Fraud. “Tax scammers will milk you for more money and cause more emotional damage than a lifetime of filing tax returns or interacting with legitimate IRS agents.”

“Tax season is a haven for identity theft, so it’s critical to do your due diligence before handing over personal information,” said Gabriel Friedlander, founder of Wizer – Free Security Awareness Training (@wizersecurity). “When it comes to tax preparation services, it’s best to work with a reputable professional that comes recommended by a friend or family member.”

“Bad actors look for any chance to accomplish their agenda of nefarious schemes, and tax season can leave the most vulnerable at risk,” said Ian Mitchell(@ian.t.mitchell_), founder of The Knoble. “TikTok’s #BeCyberSmart initiative is a powerful step to fight back by raising awareness to prevent cybercriminals from targeting unsuspecting victims.”

“We know how stressful tax season can be, and we’re proud to partner with the IRS to share tips on how to stay safe when filing taxes this year,” said Lisa Plaggemier, Executive Director of the National Cybersecurity Alliance (@natlcybersecalliance). “It’s critical for the TikTok community and everyone online to do research, report potential scams, and secure their online accounts.” 

In partnership with our fraud awareness champions, we developed a Bingo card as another fun way for people to brush up on their cybersecurity skills. Good luck, and remember to always #BeCyberSmart! 

Other Companies Are Fighting Russian Disinformation…. But Where’s Apple?

Posted in Commentary with tags , , , , on March 1, 2022 by itnerd

Earlier today, I wrote that Twitter was taking action to stop disinformation from spreading from Russian media. After some looking around, I found that other social media platforms are doing the same thing in whole or in part.

Let’s start with Facebook:

Facebook’s parent company Meta said Monday it will limit access to Russian state-controlled media outlets RT and Sputnik across the European Union, a move that will likely heighten tensions between the world’s largest social network and the Russian government.

“We have received requests from a number of governments and the EU to take further steps in relation to Russian state-controlled media. Given the exceptional nature of the current situation, we will be restricting access to RT and Sputnik across the EU at this time,” Nick Clegg, who oversees global affairs at Meta and is the former UK deputy prime minister, said in a tweet.

Now let’s go to TikTok:

TikTok has joined Facebook in blocking access to two Russian state media outlets in the European Union. Sputnik and RT are no longer able to post to audiences within the EU, and their pages and content will no longer be accessible to users in the bloc, a TikTok spokesperson confirmed.

Next up is YouTube:

Google’s YouTube said Tuesday that it would block Kremlin-backed media outlets RT and Sputnik from Europe following similar bans by Facebook and TikTok.

“It’ll take time for our systems to fully ramp up. Our teams continue to monitor the situation around the clock to take swift action,” Google’s video streaming service said in a statement.

YouTube’s ban — following an announcement from the European Commission that it wanted to remove these Russian media outlets from the EU — would apply within the European Union and the U.K.

While this is not meant to fight disinformation, Google is disabling live traffic in Ukraine:

The company said it had taken the action of globally disabling the Google Maps traffic layer and live information on how busy places like stores and restaurants are in Ukraine for the safety of local communities in the country, after consulting with sources including regional authorities.

Now over to Netflix:

Netflix was due to fall under a series of new obligations in Russia on March 1 after it was added to a register of “audiovisual services”overseen by the country’s communications regulator, Roskomnadzor, last year. 

The obligations mean that Netflix would have had to stream 20 Russian federal television stations, including the likes of Channel One, NTV and a channel run by the Russian Orthodox Church, Spas. Channel One in particular has close links to the Kremlin.

“Given the current situation, we have no plans to add these channels to our service,” a Netflix spokesperson said on Monday evening.

Finally, Microsoft has announced that they are going to de-rank Russian media outlets on Bing so that they don’t show up nearly as often as well as pulling apps from the Windows Store that are associated with Russian media:

We are moving swiftly to take new steps to reduce the exposure of Russian state propaganda, as well to ensure our own platforms do not inadvertently fund these operations. In accordance with the EU’s recent decision, the Microsoft Start platform (including MSN.com) will not display any state-sponsored RT and Sputnik content. We are removing RT news apps from our Windows app store and further de-ranking these sites’ search results on Bing so that it will only return RT and Sputnik links when a user clearly intends to navigate to those pages. Finally, we are banning all advertisements from RT and Sputnik across our ad network and will not place any ads from our ad network on these sites.

Who’s missing from this list? Apple. One has to wonder why a company who preaches that it has such high ideals isn’t rushing to join this? As I type this, apps from RT and Sputnik which are two of the biggest mouthpieces for the Russians are still available on the App Store. Why isn’t Apple taking action? That’s a very interesting question that Apple will need to answer ASAP as they really stand out for not having taken action unlike all the companies above. And I should also say, it looks really bad on them.

 The 2nd Annual TikTok Music Report Is Out

Posted in Commentary with tags on December 13, 2021 by itnerd

Today, TikTok is releasing its 2nd Annual TikTok Music Report, highlighting top music trends on the app this year. The app is now a fundamental part of the music industry, and with the 2021 Music Report, we have the data to prove it.

TikTok remained the top source of music discovery for fans of all backgrounds, paving the way for the next generation of music stars, and helping usher in artists as diverse as Olivia Rodrigo, PinkPantheress, and Måneskin to stardom.

So, which Canadian artists made the list?

And let’s crunch some numbers:

  • Over 175 songs trended on TikTok in 2021 also charted on the Billboard Hot 100, twice as many as last year.
  • Approximately 430 songs surpassed 1 billion video views as TikTok sounds in 2021 – a threefold increase over 2020.
  • The most popular of these songs approach, and even exceed, 20 billion views on videos they soundtrack.

You can find the full report here.

TikTok’s Fraud Awareness Week Kick Off Today

Posted in Commentary with tags on November 15, 2021 by itnerd

Today, TikTok is kicking off Fraud Awareness Week as a continuation of their #BeCyberSmart campaign with the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA).

TikTok is joining with industry experts including The Knoble’s Ian Mitchell, Frank McKenna (AKA, Frank on Fraud), Identity Theft Resource Center’s Eva Velasquez, Fraudology podcast host Karisse Hendrick, and the “Original Internet Godfather” Brett Johnson. Their goal is to spotlight ways to identify scams, verify suspicious activity, and report potential bad actors to the appropriate authorities.

@tiktoktips

Did you know that “smishing” is a form of phishing? Don’t take the bait! TikTok will never contact you asking for your personal info. #BeCyberSmart

♬ original sound – TikTok Tips

Also, tonight at 5pm PT / 8pm ET, TikTok is hosting a special #LearnOnTikTok LIVE stream with comedian @Alex_Falcone in conversation with tech creator @mryeester for an insider’s perspective on how to avoid falling victim to fraud.

TikTok’s “Thank You” to HackerOne 

Posted in Commentary with tags on November 1, 2021 by itnerd

Cybersecurity Awareness Month may be over, but TikTok is celebrating the 1-year anniversary of their global bug bounty program with HackerOne and continue celebrating ways to #BeCyberSmart.

They published a “thank you” video from their team to the ethical hacker community in app (@TikTokNewsroom), and more details are available via their Newsroom here: https://newsroom.tiktok.com/en-us/celebrating-the-ethical-hacker-community and the video is below:

@tiktoknewsroom

Celebrating our 1st year with HackerOne! Congrats to our top 5 contributors: bubbounty, luizviana, s3c, dphoenixx, and k1ra_ #BeCyberSmart

♬ original sound – TikTok Newsroom

TikTok Launches #BeCyberSmart Campaign For Cybersecurity Awareness Month #BeCyberSmart

Posted in Commentary with tags on October 4, 2021 by itnerd

TikTok just launched a campaign to encourage our global community of 1 billion to #BeCyberSmart, a campaign championed by the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) and industry-leading experts on how we can all create a culture of cybersecurity.

The campaign will feature a @TikTokTips video series on ways to spot and defend against common cyberthreats with TikTok creators and employees, including TikTok Chief Security Officer Roland Cloutier and touring comedian @alex_falcone (Los Angeles-based), telling tales of cyber crimes and how to #BeCyberSmart. We’re also excited to formally welcome NCSA to the platform (@natlcybersecalliance), and tomorrow is the first US Cyber Team Draft Day. The US Cyber Team will be unveiled via live-stream from the HyperX Esports Arena in Las Vegas on TikTok LIVE.

Full details on the news can be found here: https://newsroom.tiktok.com/en-us/becybersmart-cybersecurity-awareness-champions

Finally, a call to action from TikTok Chief Security Officer Roland Cloutier can be found on LinkedIn.

TikTok Announces Changes To Make The Platform More Accessible

Posted in Commentary with tags on September 29, 2021 by itnerd

Today, TikTok has launched auto captions to help the platform’s deaf and hard of hearing users better use and enjoy the platform.

This new feature, first launched in the U.S. and is now available in Canada, Australia, New Zealand and UK, allowing creators to enable auto-generated subtitles based on the audio from their videos as well as edit captions. TikTok builds its platform with inclusivity in mind to support its diverse creator and viewer community.

Current accessibility work on the platform include:

  • An animated thumbnail that replaces animated thumbnails with static images.
  • creator warning that notifies creators when they produce videos with effects that could trigger photosensitive epilepsy.
  • photosensitivity feature allows users to skip photosensitive content, which can be harmful for people with epilepsy.
  • text-to-speech feature which converts text to voice.

You can read the full announcement here

TikTok Hits One Billion Users

Posted in Commentary with tags on September 27, 2021 by itnerd

TikTok, has officially hit one billion users today according to the company.

An app that first gained popularity during the initial lockdown has now taken the world by storm and become one of the fastest growing social media apps since its launch five years ago.

More than one billion people around the world now come to TikTok every month to be entertained as they learn, laugh, or discover something new. It has become a home for an immensely diverse community of families, small businesses, and creators who transform into stars.

@tiktokcanada

✨ 1 billion✨ people on TikTok! Thank you to our global community 🎉

♬ original sound – TikTok Canada