Just received a TikTok verification code on your actual phone number? You might want to change that right now.
Like most apps today, TikTok issues verification codes when you first sign up. Verification codes are meant to keep you safe.
But there's just one problem - you need a phone number to receive them.
And that's not ideal.
Why does TikTok require verification codes? Is TikTok safe? And is it possible to get a TikTok verification code without your phone number?
This guide will provide answers to these questions and other TikTok verification code and privacy issues that you should know about.
How does TikTok verify my account?
When you first open the app, you won't receive a TikTok verification code text.
TikTok wants to get you right where all the fun is. You can actually view TikTok videos without signing up for an account.
But if you want to create your own TikTok videos, you'll need an account to do so.
TikTok lets you sign up using:
- your phone number or email address
- your Facebook profile
- your Google account
- your LINE account
- your Twitter profile
- your Kakaotalk account
If you choose any other sign-up method besides (1), TikTok will not prompt you for your phone number or email address.
Choosing to sign up with a Google account, for example, lets you jump right into the action without having to provide a phone number.
If there's no need for you to provide any personally identifiable information on your TikTok, it's highly recommended that you avoid using your phone number or email address to sign up.
If you have to (or want to) provide a phone number or email address, consider receiving the TikTok verification code on a separate phone number or email address instead.
Do you actually need a phone number to use TikTok?
The short answer is no.
Simply open the app and you can start watching TikTok videos without your phone number.
Signing up using any method other than your phone number or email address lets you create a new account without having to provide a phone number.
Some articles may claim that you need a valid phone number to send messages to someone on TikTok. That is false. We tried sending messages using a profile created with a Google account and were able to do so without a phone number.
Still, there are reasons why you may want to sign up with your phone number or email address.
If you choose to sign up using any of the other methods, your privacy settings on those apps and services will affect how private your TikTok account really is.
Most TikTok profiles will look like this. Beside the "Follow" button is Instagram's icon. Tapping on it will take you to the user's Instagram profile.
If your Instagram profile isn't secure, you'll be putting your privacy on TikTok at risk too.
That won't happen with phone numbers. When we tested the app, personal details like phone numbers and email addresses are not displayed on your user profile by default.
Why are TikTok verification codes important?
In the first place, why do TikTok verification codes even matter?
New users need a verification code for TikTok as:
- Tik Tok neeeds to make sure that its users are real people and not fake accounts or bots
- Tik Tok can perform stronger identity checks to protect you from potential harm. Anyone can sign up for a TikTok account with your personal details, but they won't succeed since the TikTok verification code only goes to your phone number.
- A verified phone number can be important in case of emergencies, so that users are easily contactable or if contact tracing for law enforcement is necessary.
If you choose not to sign up with a verified online account or profile, you need a TikTok verification code since that's the only way TikTok can know that it's you, not someone else, behind that account.
Anyone can try to sign up for TikTok using your personal details, but they won't succeed ... unless they have your phone number.
Is getting a TikTok verification code on your actual phone number safe?
Social apps can't seem to shake off controversy over online privacy, but TikTok is especially notorious when it comes to protection of user privacy (or its lack of).
As recently as April this year, cybersecurity experts believe that the app uses unsafe means to move sensitive personal data around. Because TikTok poses such a high privacy and security risk, the app has been officially banned from use by the US military.
The app is apparently so negligent in protecting user privacy that Reddit CEO Steve Huffman actually called it "fundamentally parasitic" and "truly terrifying".
TikTok verification codes can protect you from identity theft, but revealing your actual phone number to a social network full of strangers leaves you vulnerable to more risks.
How to get a TikTok verification code without your phone number
If you choose to sign up using a phone number, you'll need that TikTok verification code. At the same time, you need to take steps to protect your online privacy.
To get a TikTok verification code without your phone number, you need to use another number that:
- Isn't yours
- But still allows you to receive the TikTok verification code
Get that TikTok verification code with a second phone number from Phoner
There are many solutions to verify your TikTok account without using your actual phone number.
But because you'll want a number that:
- can receive the TikTok verification code,
- AND still be used to identify your account with after signing up
you need a longer-lasting solution beyond free online messaging services or apps.
This number should also be a burner phone number that you can dispose of anytime you want. If you encounter any stalkers and followers that creep you out, throw them off your trail by simply throwing the number away.
When you use Phoner, you'll be given an unlimited selection of burner phone numbers to choose from.
Phoner's second phone numbers can be used immediately to receive your TikTok verification code - there's no need to get a new SIM card.
Because Phoner is a burner phone number app, the numbers you get can also be disposed of anytime you want. Use them to get the TikTok verification code, let your friends find you easily, and get rid of them when things take a bad turn ... or if you simply get bored of sticking with the same line.
Other issues with TikTok verification code
Besides staying safe by verifying another phone number, here are some other things on TikTok verification codes you should know about:
Getting spammed with TikTok verification codes?
Some users have reported receiving multiple unsolicited TikTok verification code texts.
In some cases, it could be a software glitch, or a snippet of problematic code interfering with how the app should work. That was what allegedly happened with Skout back in 2013.
More often than not, it could be just someone entering the wrong phone number during the sign-up process.
However, it may be due to what's known as a Credential Stuffing Attack. This is when hackers use lists of compromised user details to breach into an online system.
If you encounter TikTok verification code spam, consider changing your personal details or omitting them if possible.
Watch out for verification code scams
As with any verification code, be extra cautious if you receive an email or text message requesting you to send over your TikTok verification code.
The verification code scam goes like this:
- you get a message claiming that unusual activity has been detected on your account
- The message tells you to send over your verification code.
- You send the code over, and hackers gain full access to your account.
Do not ever send your verification code to someone else. Apps that require you to sign in or sign up with a verification code almost never ask you to reply with one.
Share your content safely on TikTok
TikTok is highly popular for its unique video content. The app currently already has 800 million users worldwide, and its community continues to grow.
Watching other people's cool videos and creating one yourself is awesome, but it pays to be extra-cautious. TikTok isn't the safest social app around, and using a second phone number can go a long way in protecting your mobile privacy.