have you ever come across these sneaky little things called hidden apps? Some folks also call them vault apps. It’s like a secret stash on your phone where you can hide stuff like photos, files, and even other apps! Now, you might be wondering, why on earth would a kid use a vault app? Well, usually, it’s for those moments when parents or guardians decide to do surprise checks for anything unusual. The tricky part is that many vault apps look totally innocent — some even pretend to be calculators — making them pretty easy to miss.

If the thought of this is raising some concerns for you, we totally get it, especially if you’re worried about things like sexting or your kid sending nudes. Here’s the lowdown on how to figure out if your kid might have a vault app and some tips on preventing it.

Signs Your Kid Might Be Using Sneaky Vault or Hidden Apps

  • Spotting multiple apps of the same kind, like having two calculators, chilling on their phone
  • Witnessing the sudden device shutdown or a swift screen hide-and-seek game when you stroll into the room
  • Facing resistance when you ask for passwords or suggest taking a peek at their phone contents
  • Encountering an unusually eager offer to hand over the phone, possibly because they think you won’t suspect the existence of tricky vault apps

How to Spot Sneaky Hidden Apps on Your Kid’s Phone

hidden app

If you haven’t already set up parental controls on your kid’s devices, it might be a good idea to check if any of those elusive hidden apps have made their way onto their phones. Here’s a quick guide:

  1. Visit the App Store on their phone.
  2. Type in keywords like “vault app,” “hide photos,” or “secret app.”
  3. Check if any of them have an “OPEN” tag instead of “GET.” This means the app is already on their phone.

If you find any of these mysterious apps installed, you have a couple of options. You can bravely open them to unravel the secrets within, or you can have a chat with your child about what’s going on.

Here are a few names to keep an eye out for, although the world of hidden apps is ever-changing, and these names might not stick around for long:

  • AppLock
  • Vault
  • Vaulty
  • SpyCalc
  • Hide It Pro
  • CoverMe
  • Secret Photo Vault
  • Secret Calculator
  • Calculator Photo Vault

Stay vigilant; these hidden apps are like sneaky chameleons, always changing their spots.

Tips to Keep These Sneaky Apps at Bay

Shielding your kids from hidden apps can be a team effort. Here’s a game plan:

  1. Harness the Power of Pinardin:

    • Start by embracing the online safety superhero, Pinardin. It keeps a watchful eye on your child’s app downloads, sending you alerts if anything fishy, like vault apps, enters the scene. Plus, it spills the beans on all the apps your kid already has.
  2. For Apple Aficionados:

    • If you’re in the Apple Family Sharing Plan club, activate the Ask to Buy feature. This way, when your teen tries to snag a new app, you get to play gatekeeper and decide if it passes muster.
  3. Android Avengers, Assemble:

    • Android users, you’ve got your own superhero move! Dive into the parental controls in the Google Play store. Set it up to demand a password for every app download, ensuring nothing sneaks past your watchful eye.

second image from hidden apps

Discussing hidden apps with your kids is crucial, given their potential for hiding inappropriate content. Even if your child claims it’s for something innocent like a banking app or a personal journal, it might not be the best call. Consider tweaking your tech contract to ensure your child understands that such apps are off-limits.

On a more serious note, if you have concerns that your kid might be involved in activities like hiding explicit content or sexting, it’s essential to be aware of the legal consequences associated with storing such content in a vault app, even if they received it consensually.

Open communication is key; make sure your kids feel comfortable talking to you about their online experiences and reassure them that your goal is to keep them safe in the digital world.