If you have a kid who uses a smartphone, or even a spouse who might not be totally honest with you, they might be using apps to keep things hidden from you. Basically, these apps offer space where people can hide things like photos, videos, and other files, and you would never know by looking at their phone.
Known as vault apps, since they serve as a vault for storage, some examples are Ky-Calc, Calculator Percent, and Calculator Vault. When you open any of these, it looks like a calculator…you can even use them as a calculator. However, when a secret code is entered, the user can store “secrets.” Consider Ky-Calc. it has a folder for image storage, a secret internet browser, and even keeps a separate contact list.
Though you probably don’t want your kid hiding things from you, at the end of the day, that’s child’s play compared to the real danger that is hiding behind these apps. Yes, they are popular among teens and cheating spouses, but they are also popular among predators. These bad people will engage with teens or even younger children, online, and then ask them to download an app like this. They can easily communicate without you ever noticing.
Here is some more information about vault apps that every parent, or of course spouse, should know:
- Vault apps aren’t as safe as someone using them might think. You can still take a screen shot and share it with someone else.
- These apps look and act just like any similar app. Generally, they are calculators, and even work like calculators, but are ultimately unlocked with a secret code.
- If you look at someone’s phone and you see more than one calculator app on it, there is probably something funny going on. All mobile smart phones come with a calculator.
- These apps are very easy to find, and they are generally free. You can find them by searching “photo vault,” “ghost apps,” “hidden apps,” or more, in the App Store or Google Play Store.
- You also might be surprised to hear that teens often compete amongst their peers to see what type of content they can hide on these apps.
- Almost all teens who use mobile phones know about these apps. You shouldn’t be surprised if kids as young as 12, and sometimes even younger, are using them.
As a parent, and even as a spouse, you should be digging into your family’s phones. There should be open and honest discussions about this, and it should not be considered taboo, especially when it comes to a loved one. With children, they should not expect any privacy until the age of 18. With a spouse, trust is a fundamental requirement. And if there’s a lack of trust, it is generally because something is going on wrong.
ROBERT SICILIANO CSP, is a #1 Best Selling Amazon author, CEO of CreditParent.com, the architect of the CSI Protection certification; a Cyber Social and Identity Protection security awareness training program.