Secret apps - Making sure your child uses mobile apps safely

Posted by / Thursday 23 May 2019 / Parenting Tips Online Safety

In 2016, an app called Secret Calculator gained popularity. This application allows children to hide photos that they don’t want other people seeing behind an innocent-looking calculator app icon. Now there are many apps that have this feature in order for children to hide their behaviour from their parents or superiors.


How does the app work?

The Secret Calculator app in particular allows the user to hide specific images behind an app with an icon that appears to be a calculator. The user then types in a passcode and enters a portion of the app that securely stores files or photos that cannot be found in the phone’s camera roll. These pictures can then be shared via email and you can upgrade for more features for £1.99.


Open conversation

It is very important to have an open dialogue with your children in order to build a trusting relationship. If you feel that your child might have something like the Secret Calculator app on their device, speak with them about it first. There might be a reason they feel it is justified and you can help them understand that nothing on the internet is truly private and they need to be careful about what they are ‘hiding’ or sharing in terms of being aware of their own privacy. 

It can also be helpful to make them aware of situations that could occur when sending people private photos or messages. Discussing appropriate responses (or knowing that they can come to you for advice) in the event that they receive something that makes them uncomfortable or pressured is often a good option.


How to find a secret app

While it is important to speak to your children before going through their personal belongings, if you feel your child is in any way in danger, it might be best to check and see if they have the application on their device. There are hundreds of secret image hiding apps similar to the Secret Calculator app, so it can be difficult to know if your child is using one on their phone or device. A quick way to check if they have downloaded an app like this is to go to the App Store on their device and type the word ‘secret’ or ‘calculator’ into the search engine. If they do have any of these apps, an ‘open’ option will be available, if they do not, a ‘get’ option will appear.


Do you have any tips on making sure your child is staying safe on the internet or via apps? Let us know! We love hearing from you. Visit us on our Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Youtube pages.

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