The head of the UK’s intelligence, security and cyber agency has issued a “think before you use TikTok” warning to parents amid security fears over using Chinese technology.

Sir Jeremy Fleming, the Director of the Government Communications Headquarters GCHQ, has urged parents across the UK to discuss data protection with their children.

Sir Jeremy has warned over China trying to manipulate tech to influence people and governments around the world. Speaking of TikTok – owned by Chinese firm ByteDance – he explained how young people using the app should be aware of how their personal data could be shared.

Advice to parents of children who use TikTok

Speaking to BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, he said: “No, I wouldn’t [stop children from using TikTok], but I would speak to my child about the way in which they think about their personal data on their device.

"Because I think it's really important from a very early age that we understand that there is no free good here. When we are using these services we are exchanging our data for that and if it's proportionate and we're happy with the way that data is safeguarded then that's great.”

He added: "Make the most of that, make those videos, use TikTok - but just think before you do."