#parent | #kids | Parents Warned Of Vault Apps On Their Children’s Smartphones

Experts are once again warning parents of the fake calculator app that allows their children to hide photos and videos.

Parenting is one of the hardest jobs in the world, and it seems that social media and smartphones have made it even more difficult. Not only are parents constantly monitoring their children’s screen time but they are also monitoring the content that they are exposed to online. But despite parents being as vigilant as they can be, kids are resourceful. Experts are now warning parents of a fake calculator app that allows kids to hide photos and videos on their phones.

Vault Apps, commonly disguised as regular-looking apps like the calculator app have been around for a long time. Boomerang writes that they have been around since at least 2011, and are apps that allow the user to store locked content without looking suspicious. Although some people use them to simply store or protect information, many young people have discovered these are a great way to hide inappropriate content from the prying eyes of their parents or guardians.

Victims Assistance Center of Jefferson County Director of Advocacy and Safe Harbour Coordinator Kiley Hiyler explained that these apps can often be used by kids to store photos and videos they don’t want their parents to see, according to WIVB News.

While there’s no guarantee that your child is hiding inappropriate content on their smartphone if they have this app, Hiyler says parents should be vigilant.

If you do find one of these apps on your child’s phone, Hiyler says, “It usually means if they’re trying to hide something, that there’s something wrong with what they’re trying to hide.”

If you’re not sure if your child has the secret calculator app on their phone, simply use their phone and visit the App or Google Play store to see if one of these vault apps has been downloaded, Hilyer suggests.

Lifehacker suggests searching for terms such as “vault,” “ghost” or “hidden” when looking for these apps. If the app says “Open” instead of “Get,” it means the app is already installed.  Hilyer says if there is no vault apps downloaded, parents should still be “on the lookout” for them and to speak openly with their kids about what is appropriate and inappropriate behavior online.

Related: 7 Smartphone Safety Tips To Go Over With Your Teen First

Boomerang also suggests that if your child has more than one calculator app on their phone, they may be hiding something. These vault apps will be password protected and most are free to download from the App Store or Google Play.

A quick online search for vault apps will bring up an endless amount of these kinds of apps that parents should know about. Photos and videos stored in vault apps won’t show up in your child’s typical camera roll so if they have one of these apps they may be storing pictures or videos they shouldn’t have.

If you’re concerned about vault apps, there are also parental controls you can install on your child’s phone to ensure they can’t download them and let you have greater control over their online usage. Most importantly speak to your children openly about the consequences of sharing and storing inappropriate content.

Read Next: How To Talk To Your Teen About Sexting

Source: Boomerang, WIBV News, Lifehacker

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