Away From Prying Eyes: Apps for Keeping Secrets

App designed to keep sensitive media safe from prying eyes.

If your teen has something on their phone that they want to hide from you, they will find a way. A state attorney general is now warning that that may be increasingly easy for teens, too. She’s warning of a new method: apps for smartphones and tablets that masquerade as simple tools, but can hide video or other media that your teen doesn’t want you to see.

The popularity of these “secret” apps are spreading like wildfire after she did some research on them. At first glance, the app may look innocent, something like a regular calculator, tools folder, or utility app. But if you open the app and enter a password, you may find unlocked storage where teens are keeping their media from prying eyes.

Watch the original news report from WPRI on these secret apps and why parents should be aware of them:

“If you’re looking for a calculator, that’s fine,” says Leslie Rutledge, Arkansas attorney general. “Unfortunately, children and teens and others are using this app to hide things that they don’t want their parents to see.”

Why monitoring teens online activities is important.

It’s a warning that shouldn’t be new to parents: know what your teen is doing online. Rutledge says that the solution is to have an honest discussion with your child by asking what technology they are using.

Parents who talk with their teens about their online behaviors should appeal to their sense of reason. “A parent would not let their child get into a car with someone they don’t know; they wouldn’t let them spend the night with someone they don’t know. So, why are parents allowing their children to talk to people on the internet they don’t know?” said Rutledge.

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