For many parents, they think they are keeping a close eye on their child’s phone by checking the phone bill or even monitoring their text messages. But many parents haven’t heard of decoy apps.

With the consequences of sexting and cyberbullying making headlines on a daily basis, it’s more important than ever to understand the risks of keeping digital secrets.

Decoy apps are apps used to store private photos, videos, documents, or text messages.  Most of the apps have legitimate use like storing passwords, storing legal documents and locking personal info in case your smartphone is stolen.  However kids are using these apps to their advantage.  

Decoy apps may look like a common calculator, camera, a music app, a photo editing app or even a game app. If you regularly monitor your child’s devices, which includes tablets phones and laptops, then you will notice new apps and icons quickly.

For instance, the Secret Calculator decoy app allows users to hide secret photos, videos, documents and PDF files behind a working calculator. What an outsider sees is an ordinary calculator, but when a user enters his or her password, they can access secret files.

There is also technology to help parents monitor what is going on, on their child’s phone. An app called Stealth Genie allows you to monitor all text messages and apps that have been downloaded to a specific smartphone.