What Parents Should Know About Decoy Apps?
Generally, decoy apps are mobile apps designed to hide secret contents like photos, videos and messages. A few of the decoy apps are secret calculator app, vault app, keep safe, gallery lock, best secret folder, Stash word, etc. Decoy apps are secret or ghost apps and it is very difficult for you to recognize whether your kids are using these apps and sharing any risky content like private photos or videos with their peers.
The Rise of the Decoy Apps
A decoy app looks like something but actually it does some other work. Decoy apps are in use around since 2012 and the use of decoy apps is on the rise. Decoy Apps are mobile apps that may look like a game, calculator, photo editing app, music app, utility icon and note, etc. But actually, decoy apps can be used to hide secret content. Here are some facts regarding decoy apps:
- These apps generally provide tools to create one or more hidden folders or you may call it “vaults”, in the storage area of the user’s mobile device.
- Files and data that the user wishes to hide can be copied over to these secret and hidden folders – sometimes they get the option to encrypt them before they move the content.
- Just after the user deletes the files from his or her original location, another user looking at the device won’t see any of the hidden folders in any gallery listings.
- These apps may be used to hide images, videos, messages, pornographic, sensitive materials, etc.
How to Spot a Decoy App?
If you do not find anything that is suspicious in your child’s mobile, jump to the next step. Go to the setting option and then visit the Application section and tap “Show all hidden apps”. Check the list of the installed apps. There are some powerful apps that can help you to identify any secret app on the phone. You may also find the GPS location of the target phone and can track phone calls as well. So be a smart parent and safeguard your child by using smart techniques like these. Here are several ways to spot the decoy app:
- Sending, getting or forwarding sexually explicit videos, photos, messages, etc using a mobile phone, app or other digital device is referred to as sexting. Some decoys apps allow secret chats which might be suspicious. When minors are involved in sexting, sexual-exploitation or child-pornography laws may come into play. Many people take advantage of these videos and pictures to blackmail the children.
- One thing you need to know is that decoy apps require a password to open the hidden content. So even if you become able to find the hidden app on the phone, you cannot open it unless you know the password.
- In these apps, there are options for the second decoy as well. That means you might catch your child and ask him to open the app, but he might give another password and open the app to show you some innocent staff that has been set there as the second decoy. That means there is another password that he or she will use to access the hidden content. So, this is really very difficult to deal with this matter.
The Problems With Decoy Apps
Decoy apps are not dangerous but if they are used unwisely, they can create problems. It may happen that your kid is not willing to hide things from you but maybe he or she is very curious about the new apps. So, talk with them like a friend and make them comfortable to share anything and everything with you that they can share with a friend. Here are some of the problems associated with this app:
- As a parent, if you notice a few of the following behaviors in your child, it could indicate that you need to be aware of your child’s device.
- If they are regularly trying to hide the screen from onlooker or there is a sudden change in their mood or personality then there may problems associated with the decoy app.
- Any nude picture or video of someone below the age of 18 years is considered to be pornography. This can be done easily through this app.
How to keep your child away from using these Decoy Apps?
This is necessary for you to talk to your child regarding online safety by the time you are allowing them to use a mobile phone. They should be taught the risk factors of online communication and exchanging of private photos and videos. You should build a strong relationship and communication with your child so that they can share anything and everything with you. So that they can share with you whatever they are doing in life. But sometimes only your efforts cannot work if the child is unwilling to tell you his or her secrets. But you should keep an eye on your child’s activities to know how they are actually using technology and to know whether they are taking any unwise online choices or not.
- You should make it a routine to monitor your child’s mobile. Check his/her phone on any random day. If he/she knows that on a certain day you are going to check their phone, they might be alert. So, check their phone on any random day.
- There are parental apps like iKeyMonitor on the websites of Android and Apple. You may use this app for understanding the situation in a proper way.
- Open conversations can do miracles. Talk with your child regarding the risk factors of sending, sharing or even achieving risky photographs on mobile phones, tablets, etc. Make them understand that even if they are under the age of 18 if they possess or distribute any such pictures or videos they will be punished.
With the help of a few powerful apps and parental control software, you can have control over your child’s device. With the help of iKeyMonitor, you can block specific apps and even you can block entire categories of apps so that your child cannot download risky apps like decoy apps.