Have you heard about the hidden calculator app?
*Stacey regularly checks her son’s phone to make sure he doesn’t have any inappropriate photos. She was surprised to discover that the calculator on his phone was actually a new secrecy app used for hiding images and videos.
Unfortunately, there has been a big increase in apps like Calculator % that are designed to hide pictures and files behind a password protected calculator. Many teens feel they can safely store pornography or sexting messages.
This is dangerous for several reasons. As with any digital program, nothing is truly private. These messages and photos can be discovered and potentially become public. There are cases of high school “pornography rings” where teens have circulated nude images and hidden them behind these secret photo vault apps. Another problem is that these types of images and videos are potentially damaging to both the sender and receiver. Teens need to think about why they want this content on their phones in the first place. Sexting is illegal and has lead to hurt feelings, extreme regret, public embarrassment, lowered self-esteem and suicide.
If you discover your child is using a secrecy app or hidden photo vault, it’s a great opportunity to discuss the risks.
- Why do they want these images?
- Do they understand the danger of having inappropriate information on their phones?
- Discuss the risks of sexting and how it can be damaging to both the sender and receiver.
If you would like to monitor which apps your son or daughter download, you can set-up your parental controls so that you are notified.
The goal is not to police your child. However, problems with digital technology are so prevalent that it’s crucial you stay involved. Keep the conversations going and help your child use technology in a healthy, safe way.