A decoy app is a sneaky on-device tool that lets anybody hide secret photos, videos and messages, under the cover of an innocent-looking icon. Hide It Pro is one of the most popular - and easiest for parents to spot.
Let's drill down and have a look at one of the most popular decoy apps: Hide It Pro. This one is disguised as an audio app.
You can find it on Google Play or the App Store simply by searching “Hide it Pro.”
But when you download the application it will appear on your phone’s screen as “audio manager.”
So if anyone - a parent say - is checking for inappropriate apps, they’ll never even notice it.
Unless they’ve read this blog post of course! and have learned the secret: that if they touch and hold “audio manager” at the top, they’ll be taken to a buried application - a vault, if you will, where files are hidden.
Keep in mind, though, that Hide It Pro, like every other decoy app, is password protected.
Other decoy apps are designed to look like a calculator, a safe, a game, a note or even a shopping list app. Two of the most popular are Keep Safe Private Photo Vault - an app that boasts "military-grade encryption" - and The Secret Calculator, which (surprise, surprise!) looks like a standard calculator icon.
Some even allow users to set a decoy PIN code. That way, if parents demand access, kids can give them the fake code to open up a folder of innocent content.
What parents should do
If you discover a decoy app on your child’s phone … try not to jump to conclusions.
Tell your child what you’ve found, and ask them to explain why they have it.
Don’t demand that you be allowed into their ‘vault’ - but do insist that the app be deleted.
Did you know that Family Zone will show you EVERY app on your child’s phone?
It will also empower you to disable new app downloads, so you can be sure your child always checks with you before adding something new.
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To improve the level of online safety and protection given for children, the Family Zone parental app is being replaced with the world-leading Qustodio parental app.Learn more