(WTNH) — A warning for parents across Connecticut about secret apps that kids can download to keep inappropriate photos and videos hidden from their parents, right in plain sight. One is designed to look like a calculator, but put your code into the keypad and you unlock your photos.
“When you see something like this that allows kids to hide photos of her, what you do think as a parent? I need to be on top of it, every parent needs to be on top of it, not just that, but on many apps,” said Granby parent Rebecca Soto.
If you want to see just how hard it is to stay on top of it, put ‘secret’ into the search bar at the app store and you will come up with a half a dozen ways the kids are hiding photos or videos from their parents. Professor Marialice Curran teaches digital citizenship at the University of St. Joseph. She says you have to emphasize permanency to your children. Once the photo leaves your phone, you can never get it back. She also suggests locking their phone so they need parental permission to download an app. That way you can see what it does before you let your child have access.
“Just because you can scroll through your teens phone and not see anything inappropriate doesn’t mean there isn’t anything inappropriate,” said Curran.
She say the best thing to do is have a conservation with your kids.
“The most important thing parents can do is have an ongoing conversation with them. It’s got to be 24/7. It can’t be, ‘Oh, we had that talk, check the box.’ Ongoing, this has to be ongoing.”
One of the hardest things for parents to understand is the marketing. It’s a free app.
“Their advertising in such a positive way, yeah this is great you can hide things, rather than, if it’s inappropriate why are you doing it?”said Glastonbury teach Lauren Perralt.