TikTok 18+ is a modified APK that functions as a ‘clone’ of the social network and is intended to circumvent moderation and display unrestricted content. However, this strategy of circumventing community guidelines can be dangerous, as it encourages the production and propagation of videos with themes such as pornography and violence. In addition, to download – which is not available in the official stores such as Play Store or App Store – users need to access links of dubious origin and hosted on unknown platforms.
This procedure already represents a risk and a security threat for users, who can install malware and viruses along with the app. Below, understand what TikTok 18+ is and what risks the APK can pose to your phone.
What is TikTok 18+ and what are these modified APKs?
TikTok 18+ is an APK (Android Package Kit), a clone of the original app, but with modifications and not developed by ByteDance, the company responsible for TikTok. An APK is a compressed file for distributing and installing an application on the Android system.
In the case of TikTok 18+, it uses the original source code, but with changes that end up providing users with extra or different features. However, since TikTok 18+ was developed by unknown developers, when accepting the installation of third-party sources, users should be aware of the risks that these types of files can cause. Since they are not distributed in the official app stores, the download link may be hosted on unknown platforms and may be contaminated with spyware, viruses, and other malicious links.
What are the differences from the original app?
TikTok 18+ has the same interface as the original app, with the ability to like, comment, save and share on WhatsApp. In addition, the APK has additional functions such as downloading videos and removing ads. However, the most significant difference between TikTok 18+ and the original is that in the APK version there is no moderation of the posted content.
This can be harmful since, without the practice, there may be an encouragement to share pornographic and inappropriate videos, such as incitement of violence, hate speech, and fake news. Remember that, some countries’ governments ordered the official platform to remove content unsuitable for children under 18 – a measure aimed at preventing the spread of these types of videos.
Are there risks in downloading? What are they?
Every modified APK can present a security risk to the cell phone and your data because in the installation process it is necessary to activate the option “Install Unknown Apps”. With this procedure, the device becomes susceptible to malicious programs – which, in addition to infecting the operating system, can access the personal information of the users.
This is because, according to security analysts from the company PSafe, “just like fake apps available in stores, the modified APK can also act as malware.” According to the experts, what would cause this damage would be “malicious snippets of the file,” which endanger “the security of the device’s data.” Apps available in official stores such as Play Store and AppStore go through security verification mechanisms, which ensure more control and vigilance than modified APKs developed by unknown parties.
Finally, installing TikTok18+ may still lead to the permanent or temporary banning of your account on the platform, as the APK violates the app’s terms and conditions of use.
I downloaded the app. How can I protect myself?
If you have already installed the TikTok18+ APK on your device, it is recommended to download an antivirus on the device and regularly scan it to identify malicious files that are hidden. PSafe experts recommend apps like dfndr security and dfndr enterprise. Some antivirus allows you to scan Android applications in APK format, making it easier to identify threats in certain programs and remove them from the device.
Another tip is to check if your data has been leaked and to change your potentially compromised passwords. The iPhone and Google password manager has a mechanism to identify which of your passwords have been compromised) – so if you have an Apple phone or an Android phone, you can use the feature for that. Also, learn how to keep your passwords secure on any smartphone.