As a parent, there are so many things to worry about. And with them now using technology, there’s something more to be concerned about.
Decoy apps (also known as secret, safe or vault apps).
What Are Decoy Apps and How Do They Work?
These are applications that allow a child to hide text messages and pictures on their smartphone. They “jailbreak” their phones, and disable the limitations set by the cell phone provider. Once accomplished, they can download the decoy apps.
Decoy apps are disguised as innocent-looking calculators or music apps. When inspecting your child’s phone you probably won’t recognize them. For example, a Secret Calculator decoy app allows them to hide photos, videos, documents and PDF files behind a calculator that works.
You may think it’s just an ordinary calculator, but when the child enters his or her password, they have access to their secret files. They keep their password private, and give you a fake one. This way you only see what they want you to, and you have no idea what’s actually hiding behind these apps.
Why should you worry? — Because with today’s sexting and cyberbullying, your child may be hiding things that could get him or her into trouble.
So what can you do?
- Set the phone back to factory settings, and monitor what they are adding.
- Set up parental controls on your child’s device.
- Along with checking their Instagram or text messages, keep tabs on any new apps.
- “Google” their apps to determine if they are decoys.