Technology Tuesday: App Alert - Secret Mobile Apps

A lot of attention has been given by the media recently for what are referred to as secret mobile apps.  They’re apps like Snapchat and Whatsapp, where pictures and texts disappear after being seen.  But they’re also apps in which users can hide photos and messages.  And they’re tricky to find.  

One such app is called Private Photo (Calculator%).  According to the iTunes store, 

“Private Photo (Calculator%) app is private photos and videos hidden behind calculator. Anyone who starts this application looks as a calculator but if you put in passcode it will open up private area. All files are securely stored in the App and remain completely private and confidential.”

Private and confidential photos and videos are not necessarily what you want for your 14 year-old son or daughter.  The danger is, again, this app looks just like a calculator.  Other apps look like folder boxes, a utilities box.  One even has a stealth mode where you type in a password, asterisk and press call.  

As they say, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.  Think it was actually Ben Franklin who said that…he was a Technology guy in the making.  Our recommendations to prevent these secret apps would be found on this Technology Tuesday.

Be aware of what they’re downloading.  Have their account linked to yours.  And, unless your child is a high school upperclassman (and has earned more freedom), grab their phone from time to time and check it regularly for any strange sounding—or looking apps.  It’s probably also good to have a conversation about secret mobile apps—not an accusatory one, but an informed one.  They need to know that you’re a parent in the know.  That you’re aware and watching—for their protection.  And, as always, conversation is the best preventative technique of all.  Continue to build a relationship based on mutual trust.  Let them know you’re checking on them.  Give them more trust when they earn it.  And stick with us for Technology Tuesday’s and more information on how to keep your kids safe online.

For more information, check out this article.