Calculator % App – One for parents to be aware of
Since the beginning of time children have kept secrets from their parents. It’s just life right? There are some things parents just don’t need to know. Or rather, they don’t need it blatantly rubbed in their faces, kids will be kids and they will always have some secrets from their parents.
In today’s world though where social media is so prevalent and many teenagers are spending endless hours in the on line environment, what they are hiding from parents can sometimes cross that line of things that parents don’t need to know well into the realm of what parents absolutely NEED to know about. The unfortunate scenario we see unfolding is that many young people using social media channels and instant messaging apps are not consciously thinking about the content they are sending and sharing with each other. And whilst they think they can hide it from parents, there is no hiding once it’s out on the world wide web.
But back to the calculator% app. One of the things we focus on with Beat The Cyberbully is awareness. We know the gap between children and parents is a big one, perhaps it’s getting bigger, but we are trying to reduce it. In order to that, you as a parent need to be aware of what is happening in your child’s digital world. So here goes.
The above picture is of Alabama district attorney, Pamela Casey. It’s a screen shot of a video she took to let parents into a little secret. You can check her video out here if you like – Calculator% App In her video Pamela gives some insight into the innocent looking icon that might reside on your child’s smart device. To all intents and purposes, if you saw this app icon, you would think that it was just a calculator app. In fact as you opened the app and explored it a little, you’d find that it is indeed a fully functioning calculator app. Nothing to worry about right?
Well perhaps not. The secret to this app, is that it hides your secrets. But you need to know the code to access the hidden vault of content. You hit the decimal point button and then enter a 4 digit code, much like you ATM code. If you get it right, it unlocks the door to a pandoras box of all the inappropriate content your child has either sent, or received from his or her friends. Content they definitely don’t want mum or dad seeing.
The real sting in the tale is that if you are having a little look through your child’s device and see the app, are consciously aware that it’s a secret folder app and decide to give the code a guess, the app engages the devices camera and takes a snapshot of your face and puts it in the hidden vault. So the next time the owner of the phone opens it, they’ll see just who has been having a snoop around their phone! In itself it’s genius, but of course when it’s being used to hide inappropriate content from parents, discussions and open conversations need to happen.
As a parent, you are entitled to snoop and monitor, as it’s for the benefit of your child. But as we have outlined in previous blog posts for parents, continuous education on what apps are available and easily accessible out there is key. Staying ahead of the game by becoming an informed parent and having regular conversations with your teenager will help you guide them, to stay safer and protect themselves in the hyper connected digital world they’re growing up in.