There are any number of very simple ways kids can throw the proverbial cloak of invisibility over their online life. Here are a few of them.
Maybe you’ve seen this tactic on your favourite crime drama. The baddie can’t be traced because he’s used a temporary phone - a cheapie model powered with pre-paid minutes that can be discarded, or burned, at the least sign of trouble.
Well, kids watch crime shows too. And the practice of packing a second phone - a “burner” - while not exactly widespread, is popular among young people with something serious to hide: be it a relationship, dicey images or apps or (in rare cases) criminal activity.
A physical phone is no longer necessary to juggle multiple online lives. Using a burner app, texts and calls appear to come from a “real” phone number that is not the user’s existing number.
There are legitimate reasons for using burner apps as a form of privacy protection.
But in the hands of children, the scope for pranking, stalking and online abuse is massive - and the appeal can prove irresistible.
Some burner apps feature self-destructing messages. Others allow anonymous sign-up and accept Bitcoin, and allow users to disguise the appearance of the app to look like a news reader. Examples: Hushed, Burner, CoverMe, TextMe Up.
GPS spoofing apps
Parents who use a GPS tracker to keep tabs on their children’s whereabouts need to know that a savvy kid using an Android can hack their location in seconds using an app like Mock GPS. Faking your location on an Apple device is a bit harder but can still be accomplished with a bit of persistence and the iTools app.
In a world where the average child swipes their first device at 6 months of age (!) and receives their first smartphone in Year Five, keeping kids safe has never been trickier. Thousands of families around the world use Family Zone’s world-leading parental controls help manage screen-time, block adult content and set study- and sleep-times. Find out which Family Zone plan can help keep your children safe.
Topics: Parental Controls, Screen time, distraction, deception apps, burner phones, location tracker
Sign up now to try Family Zone for 1 month, totally free of charge.Free Trial
COVID blew up our teens’ screen-time. It’s time to get them back on track. In the wake of the COVID pandemic, our children are facing a ...
If you have more than one child - and statistics show 86 percent of families do - then managing screen-time can be double trouble. Or ...
We’re starting to understand how social media can damage girls’ self-esteem - but what about our boys? New research finds disturbing ...
Mixing kids and adult strangers in a self-moderated online environment ... What could possibly go wrong?
Sign up now to try Family Zone for 1 month, totally free of charge.Sign Up
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