With kids home for the summer, parents need to know about dangerous phone apps available that allow their kids to actively conceal information, photos and texts from their parents. These apps can easily be downloaded onto any mobile device and have unassuming icons designed to mislead a casual observer and veil their secretive nature. One popular application or app appears to be a calculator. It even functions as a calculator, until the user enters a specific code. The app then opens up to a secret vault of photos and videos that can be stored in the app for sharing, without being detected in the phone’s photo album.
“The world of secret apps is scary for parents across Arkansas,” said Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge. “Parents should dig deeper into their child’s phone and ask questions about new apps that have been downloaded. The best way to educate our children about internet safety is to be educated ourselves.”
Attorney General Rutledge and Common Sense Media shared the following tips for parents to consider when discussing this topic with their children.
Talk to teens about using phones responsibly and respecting privacy.
Remind teens that taking and/or sharing embarrassing or revealing pictures often comes back to haunt people, so resist the temptation.
Consider that kids might not be trying to hide photos from parents but from nosy friends. If that is the case, try to find out why.
Do a spot check to see which apps have used the camera. This will reveal any camera apps disguised as something else. (On iPhones go into Settings -> Privacy -> Camera)
There are also apps available to help parents monitor their child’s device. Apps like SecureTeen Parental Control or Parental Control Board are helpful to parents to know who kids are texting, what music they are buying and many other things.
The Attorney General’s office also produces materials for students of all ages, along with parents and guardians to learn more about online and internet safety.
For more information and tips to avoid scams and other consumer-related issues, contact the Arkansas Attorney General’s office at (800) 482-8982 or email@example.com or visit ArkansasAG.gov or facebook.com/AGLeslieRutledge.
6-6-18 8:12 p.m. kawx.org