Are Your Kids Using Secret Apps to Hide Their Stuff?

You may be surprised at what your kids are hiding on their phones with these apps.

Eric Escobar,
April 21, 2016
Episode #217

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The next thing you can do is to check out the data usage and storage of an app. For example, if you look at the calculator app that I mentioned before. If it’s storing a lot of videos and pictures, it will likely be much larger than your typical app. On an iPhone if you go into “Settings” -> “Storage & iCloud” -> “Manage Storage,” and you’ll see a list of every app on your phone and how much space it takes up on your phone. A calculator app shouldn’t be over 100 mb. This isn’t an exact number, but you’re looking for an app that would normally not need to store a lot of data being towards the top of the list.

If you’re on an Android phone you can do the same thing by going into “Settings” -> “Storage” -> “Apps” and taking a look at the list.

Lastly, I would recommend taking a hard look at this list and questioning what each app is. In this circumstance, Google is your friend, just take the name of the app in question and do a quick Google search to see what turns up.

Here’s an example of the app that I mentioned.

What About Secret Messaging?

Kids having secret apps and web browsers probably isn't OK by most parents. However, what’s even more dangerous are the slough of secret messaging apps that are out there. What makes these apps dangerous is what also makes them great tools for communication. Apps like SnapChat can delete images and videos after they’ve been seen. This makes it difficult to see who your child is communicating with. After all it may not be just text messaging, phone calls, and FaceTime. Kids are using Facebook messenger, HipChat, SnapChat, and Signal, and other apps to communicate with one another. This is where watching your child’s behavior is important and looking at recent apps could help you find the culprit app.

What Should You Do?

Honestly, kids are going to make mistakes. The important take away from this episode isn’t that your children get in trouble for having these apps, but rather the understanding of what having such a powerful tool means. Now I’m by no means a parenting expert (although the mighty mommy is), so that’s all I’m going to mention about this!

Lastly, I’ve done a full podcast on how to put some parental controls on your child’s phone or tablet. I highly recommend checking out that episode if you liked this one!

Be sure to check out all my earlier episodes at techtalker.quickanddirtytips.com. And if you have further questions about this podcast or want to make a suggestion for a future episode, post them on Facebook.com/QDTtechtalker.

Until next time, I’m the Tech Talker, keeping technology simple!


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