Why Every Parent Needs to Know About the Secret Calculator Photo Vault
You think you’ve got it covered. You check your kid’s phone occasionally. You’ve had the “talk” about using technology. You even look at their text messages once in a while. You are good, right?
Kids are flooding into my office with secrets. Secrets that you don’t know about. Secrets that would give you a mini-heart attack. Secrets you need to know.
Not, my kid.
Yes, I am talking about your kid. You think they’re too young? You think they know better? You think they would never make such poor choices. I can tell you that kids as young as ten and eleven are pouring into my office with tech-savvy skills that would make your head spin. And they are using them to circumvent your primitive, old-school approach to online safety.
I want to respect my kid’s privacy.
Your mom didn’t sneak into your room and read your diary, so why should you snoop on your kid, right? Did your diary have a portal to the outside world? Your kids have a virtual window inside their bedrooms. No need to sneak out, kids just have to turn on their devices and away they go.
Imagine if everything you did as a child got permanently recorded and shared. Every stupid thing. Every bad choice. Every sexual exploit digitally saved for an eternity. Saved for every future boss, partner and offspring to look up. Now do you want to respect your kid’s privacy?
My kids don’t have a phone.
Do they have a computer? A tablet? You don’t give them a phone so you think they’re safe. That’s great, but you can’t cocoon your kids from life forever. Kids will have to enter this digital age. Most have access to computers, even if they don’t have a handy little smartphone in their pocket. Kids can chat, take pictures and send videos all through their computer.
So, what is a secret calculator photo vault?
I thought I was tech-savvy. I mean, I talk to kids for a living. I talk to kids who trust me and tell me things. But my learning curve can’t keep up. Recently I was taking this parenting e-course iParent 101. A course that teaches parents how to keep their kids safe in the digital age. I thought it would be a nice review of what I knew. Wrong. It had me running to check my kid’s phone and tablet in a panic.
It talked about secret vault apps also known as private photo apps. I had never heard about this before. Where had I been?
A calculator photo vault and other photo vault apps look like innocent apps, like a calculator or a game, but in reality, they are a secret doorway to hide their private photos and videos. Here is a screenshot from the Apple App Store. This app is called Photo Lock Vault, but there are hundreds of more just like it:
Why do kids need a secret place to hide their photos and videos? Ask any girl in high school (and some even in junior high) if a boy has ever asked them to send a “naked pic.” Most of them will say “yes.” Shocking, but true.
What do you get when you combine hormonal teens, cameras and technology? I will let your imagination sit with that for a minute. Kids aren’t asking for girl’s numbers anymore, they are asking for pics and videos.
This isn’t only disturbing, it is against the law. Because these are digital images of naked kids, it is considered child pornography. And when they share it, the law will see it as producing, distributing and sharing child pornography – a criminal offense.
Sadly, there is also a big trend where men posing as boys get girls (and boys) to take sexually explicit photos and videos for them. These men then threaten to exploit these kids by sharing their photos and videos online or with their parents if they do not pay them. It is called sexting extortion – and it is a thing.
Kids are asking themselves, “How can I hide a video on my iPhone?” Or “What is the best app to hide my pictures and videos?” and this calculator photo vault is usually the best answer.
You can protect your kids by being more aware.
How does a calculator photo vault work? Here are the secret calculator app instructions.
Your kid probably has tons of apps on their phone or tablet. The hope is their vault will go undetected in the sea of apps, and it does. A calculator vault looks like a calculator. Acts like a calculator. The only difference? It has a dual purpose. Plug in a 4-digit password and hit pound or make a special finger pattern and voila – your calculator just turned into a secret storage app.
So how can you detect a calculator photo vault?
A calculator photo vault along with other private photo vault apps are almost impossible to detect. Some obvious signs would be two calculator apps on your kid’s device. But what if they were careful to keep only one calculator? What if it isn’t a calculator at all?
An article from Huffington Post, How to Find Vault Photo Apps offers parents some good advice. They suggest you go to the App Store and type in a search for “Vault Apps.” If your child has downloaded a vault app it will say “Open” instead of “Get” on the app. The article recommends that you scroll down and make sure you look at all the Vault apps.
Even if you find a Vault app, you will have to talk to your child to see what’s behind it. Many apps will report any attempts to try and access the vault, so secretly looking at their vault isn’t probably going to work.
How can you keep your kids safe in this cyber world?
For starters, don’t be naïve. Frankly, our generation is ill-equipped to stay one step ahead of our kids. They are generally more tech-savvy and are on the right social media platforms to learn about these things faster than any of us can keep up.
Educate yourself. Learn how you can protect your kids from themselves. Require them to check all devices into a centrally located charging station each night. Check their devices or better yet, monitor them.
Don’t bury your head in the sand because you think your kid is too young, too innocent or too well behaved to get wrapped up in any of this mess.
Be proactive and not reactive.
Have you had an experience with photo vault apps? Share in the comments and educate other parents. Do you have questions or comments about his article? Leave a comment below.
If you know other families with kids who could benefit from understanding what a calculator photo vault and other photo vault Apps are along with the dangers of unsupervised technology, share this article with them.
Other Resources on Online Safety to Help Parents:
Other Online Safety Articles and Books: