NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — Sexting is a growing issue among teens and children and in many cases parents don’t even know their children have sexting apps. So called “Ghost” or “Vault” apps are making it easy for kids to hide their photos on their phones.
“The scary part is where is my data going and what’s happening to it,” said Assistant Dean at the University of New Haven Ibrahim Baggili, who specializes in Cyber Forensics and Security.
Secret smartphone apps designed to look like calculators, audio managers or even clocks. “It looks like a calculator but If I type in a code it’s a hidden photo app where you can see all the photos I’m hiding from my parents or anyone else,” Baggili added. He says the apps are not new but the technology is becoming more sophisticated.
“Now the technology has allowed us to have it in our pockets, in our hands, in our smart watches. You can be sitting down anywhere and be chatting with anyone at any place at anytime,” Baggili said.
While teens may think the photos are hidden, Baggili says there’s nothing stopping developers of the apps from sharing the photos. “Even though you think the picture might only be stored on your phone the app can be sending it to a remote server.”
Baggili told News 8 parents need to be vigilant and teens need to realize just because an app has the word secret or vault in it, that doesn’t always mean it’s secure.