Apr 6, 2020

Due to being confined at home amid the COVID-19 pandemic, many children and teens have been riding on the TikTok craze. Various viral “challenges” have also emerged on the video-sharing app—including the seemingly harmless “Invisible challenge” which, at second thought, is not as safe and “invisible” as some may deem it to be.

Cyber Security Philippines – CERT (Computer Emergency Response Team) recently shared a post from the youth organization Streets to Schools which detailed the dangers of the new TikTok challenge. 

They shared that the filter is being used currently with the following instructions for TikTok users: dance, raise their hands to activate the “invisible filter”, and undress once the filter is on. With these steps already showing a huge red flag, Streets to Schools shared a further breakdown on why this is dangerous.

“Once you digitally record an image/video of your private body parts, it’s already out of your control. Once you upload them, the danger exponentially increases. Uploading such videos to TikTok basically means you’re sending in images of your private body parts to their servers!” the organization said.

Lastly, they added that since it is only a filter, it can be “reversed engineered” and thus possibly expose users’ private body parts which they initially thought were “invisible.” Streets and School also shared that there are some tutorials circulating right now on how to “decode” the invisible filter.

Posing a message to parents, Cyber Security Philippines – CERT raised another point on why the challenge can pose a threat to their children.

“Parents and adults: it’s not just the issue of potential pixel reversing but also, it shows the predators (Pedophiles and Sex Offenders) who are the gullible and exploitable teens who follow without second thoughts any hype and social media trends,” the organization said, noting that users have a TikTok ID. These TikTok IDs can be used to find the users’ identities and trace them online or even offline, making them possible victims for blackmail—or worse.

Although there’s no harm in having fun online once in a while, it is important to remain vigilant and cautious—not only on TikTok, but also on other social media platforms. After all, it’s not so fun when the harm has been done, especially when you go viral for the wrong reasons.


Header photo by Kon Karampelas on Unsplash

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TAGS: Cyber Security Philippines - CERT tiktok tiktok dangers tiktok invisible challenge