Secret camera apps

Secret Camera Apps on your child’s phone: Should you be worried?

There are secret camera apps available for your child to download and use. Here’s what they are and what they do.

These days, you’d be hard-pressed to find a child or teen without a camera phone permanently attached to their hand. Social media apps like Instagram, Whatsapp, and Snapchat means that kids have the power to take, edit, and share photos with their friends, all with a few taps of their touchscreen.

Unfortunately, camera phones can also be used for ill purposes.

smarthphone taking picture
There’s a new wave of secret camera apps, (also known as ghost-apps) that can be used to hide photos. There are two different types of apps to be aware of:

Hidden-Camera Apps

Apps like Private Ninja Cam, Top Secret Camera, Stealth Cam, etc. take steps to disguise the fact that the person is using the camera. They can blank the screen, disguise the preview window, and mute the phone (so there’s no shutter sound) while the camera’s in use. Some can also use a motion sensor to activate the camera.

Secret Photo Vault Apps

Apps such as Best Secret Folder, Calculator Percent, Keep Safe Private Photo Vault, etc. provide the user with a private place to store photos, where other users (like friends or family) won’t stumble across them. These apps will require a password for access, could be disguised as another app to hide their real function, or could sound and alarm or take a picture when accessed.

Should you be worried?

The bad news is, apps like these can be used for the wrong purposes, like spying or sexting. The good news is, kids (especially teens) will naturally look for independence and privacy from their parents. Kids also like to experiment with new technology. So even if your child has these apps on their phone, it doesn’t necessarily mean that their intentions are bad.

It’s important to talk to your child seriously about the responsible use of camera phones. Make sure they understand first and foremost that you respect their privacy. Then, explain to them about the dangers of using these apps, and the kind of social and emotional turmoil that can arise from their misuse. If you still feel the need to check up on them, on iPhones go to Settings→Privacy→Camera – this will show you which apps on the phone have used the camera.

(Information on secret camera apps from http://www.theinvestigators.co.nz/news/explained-secret-camera-apps/