University of Florida Prohibits TikTok, WeChat & Other Apps on Campus

United States North America Higher Education News by Erudera News Apr 08, 2023

Tiktok and other apps

The University of Florida (UF) has announced it has banned certain apps, including TikTok – a video-sharing app, from its campus Wi-Fi networks to comply with an emergency regulation approved by the State University System Board of Governors on March 29.

The move is part of a wider effort to improve defenses against cyberattacks and protect the safety of students, faculty and staff. The decision became effective immediately on Wednesday, April 5, Erudera.com reports.

In a message to its community on Wednesday, UF said that besides Tiktok, four other apps it has banned include Tencent QQ, WeChat, VKontakte, and Kaspersky. Students and staff will not be able to use these applications on UF’s campus Wi-Fi network.

Effective immediately, the installation or use of Tencent QQ, TikTok, WeChat, VKontakte, and Kaspersky on any university-owned device, network, or to conduct any university business, including marketing and advertising, is prohibited.”

The university urged anyone on campus to stop using these technologies and remove apps from their personal devices to protect their privacy and university data.

“If you have installed any of these prohibited technologies on a university-owned mobile device or computer, you are required to remove it and cease using it,” the letter reads, adding that UF’s data are an institutional priority.

Other public universities in Florida prohibiting the use of TikTok and other social media apps on their campuses include:

  • Florida International University
  • The University of Central Florida
  • The University of Florida
  • Florida State University
  • The University of South Florida
  • Florida Gulf Coast University
  • Florida A&M University
  • The University of West Florida
  • The University of North Florida
  • The New College of Florida
  • Florida Polytechnic University

Several universities in the US have previously banned the use of TikTok on their devices and blocked it on Wi-Fi networks.

In January this year, it was the University of Texas at Austin that decided to block access to TikTok on campus Wi-Fi in response to an order from Gov. Greg Abbott issued at the end of December last year, asking state agencies to remove the app from any government-issued devices due to concerns it poses threats to national security.

However, a survey by Intelligent, an online education magazine, revealed that 51 percent of students rely on TikTok to complete academic assignments, usually for math, English and art. Findings showed that TikTok appeared to be helpful for 34 percent of students participating in the study who said they had used the app to complete college application essays.

© Solen Feyissa | Unsplash

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