Find Hidden Apps Your Teen Doesn’t Want You Seeing

aapsm1 As we continue to advance down the technology highway, more and more apps are being created—more than we parents can keep up with.  Unfortunately, many of  the inappropriate ones are being downloaded by our children without us knowing about it.

Apps To Watch Out For

How do you know what to look for? Here are a few apps that are considered to be the most dangerous.

Yik Yak – This app is fairly new and already being blocked by schools. It allows posters up to submit up to 200 characters which can be view by their closest 500 “Yakkers,” determined by GPS tracking. It’s gaining the reputation of an app that allows you to anonymously post sexually explicit and abusive language.

Down – This app has a slogan that goes something like, “The anonymous, simple, fun way to find friends who are down for the night.” Connected with Facebook, friends are categorized in either someone they would like to hang around or someone to hook up with.  Originally, this app was known as “Bang with Friends.”

Omegle –  Using this app, you can video chat with someone else. Although you may remain anonymous, it works by using your Facebook “likes” to match you with someone you don’t know but has similar “likes” as you. Because you are matched with a stranger, there is a high risk that the stranger will be a sexual predator.

Whisper– Just two short years ago, a 12-year-old girl was raped by man she met while using this app. This app is for telling secrets, and although anonymous, it does display the area you are posting from. It’s easy for kids to begin to feel comfortable with a stranger they are confiding in and eventually give out personal information.

KiK Messenger– KiK will also your kids to send messages that you can’t see and verifying the identities of the sender or receiver is very difficult. This is a very popular app for kids under age 18, and it’s also very popular with sexual predators. This app should be deleted from your child’s phone.

How To Find Hidden Apps

There are a couple of ways to identify if your child is hiding their social media apps from you — several of them are apps themselves!

Poof is an app that you definitely need to be familiar with, because it allows teens to make other apps they don’t want you see disappear. Although this particular app is no longer available, your child may still have it and use it. Also, similar apps are created regularly, so it’s a good idea to search online periodically for newer apps with these capabilities and see if your child has downloaded any of them.

Vaulty is an app for Android phones that allows you to create a password-protected ‘Vault” in which media such as photos and videos can be hidden away from the main image gallery. Vaulty will also take a picture of any person who tries to access the Vault with the wrong password.

Hide It Pro is similar to Vaulty, but is available for both Android and iPhone smartphones. It allows you to hide media, and the app itself is disguised as an “Audio Manager” that seemingly controls the volume of the smartphone. However, pressing and holding the app reveals a lock screen behind which users can hide messages, photos, videos, and apps.

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This is definitely not a complete list of apps your child may not want you to know about, but it’s a start. If you see an app on your child’s phone that is new to you, google to find out what it does, and if it is safe for your teen to be using.

Other ways to find hidden activity is through unexplained blanks or missing data from their smartphones. According to a recent McAfee study, over 70% of teens have hidden online activity from their parents. 53% achieve this by clearing their browser history, while 34% hide or delete messages, photos, or videos.

If you check your child’s phone and see that they suddenly have no browser history, or there is obviously chunks missing from various text conversations, it’s safe to assume they’re taken steps to hide that from you.

Other red-flag behaviors include…

  • Hiding their screen or turning off their device when you enter the room.
  • Refusing to hand over their passwords. If they have nothing to hide, there should be no issue.
  • A sudden increase in media usage. New apps can be “addictive” and take up a lot of time.

Of course, the best method on how to find hidden apps and determine if your teen is in trouble or using these apps inappropriately is to check their phones regularly. Monitoring their activity with an app like TeenSafe allows you to see deleted messages and social media activity that you might not otherwise know about.

Social media specialist Kristin Peaks recommends, “Look through their apps, texts and pictures. They may feel that you’re invading their privacy, but let’s be honest… You’re paying the phone bill, so you can do whatever you want!”

While monitoring can help you discover if your teen is hiding information from you, the next step is just as important: talking to them. If you discover any of these apps on your child’s phone, don’t overreact. Discuss with them how these apps are being used inappropriately and the consequences. Continue to calmly talk to them about your concerns, and by doing so, your child will feel more comfortable opening up to you when they need to.

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  • Zachary Dallaire

    Just because a parent pays the bill does not mean they should view everything a child does. You need to think that you’ll only create a better liar in the long run

    • Ray

      Actually as a parent they SHOULD know everything their child is doing but by your point just don’t buy them a phone then. This guy clearly is a trash kid

      • Meek

        Well you know in today’s world, these kids need communication. Even just to call home for emergencies. It’s not as bad as you assume. I monitor everything, but I don’t have to address much. And because I’m creative, we bring up alot of dialogue in family discussion. My daughter is headed for college. I’ve gotten her through school with a good head on her shoulders, excellent 4.7 GPA, 90% paid college tuition.
        By us being a minority, this is a standard setter in my community.

        Now I have a black son to raise. He’s already looked at a certain way because he’s a black man. So its his father and I job to make sure we keep an eye on him, raise him, and teach him. And if I have to hid in the bushes to make sure he is going to school, that’s my job! I’mma make sure he graduates just like his big sister. I’m going to make sure he’s not a statistic. I’m going to make sure, he doesn’t get someone pregnant out of wedlock. I’m going to make sure he is on the right path.

        I wouldn’t be a parent if I didn’t.

    • Meek

      Poor baby re-read what you typed…if im paying the bill i want to see what im paying for. If you ad a child decide to become a liar, you will make yourself a hated individual because no one will trust YOU. You hurting yourself not your parent. You have to grow up knowing that no one likes a liar. Think about the kid that you know now who always lies…cant stand him? Youre next. You create your own demons buddy. Your parents check up on because they love you but if you dont want to be loved move out & get a job to pay all your bills.

      • MarianaRedWixi

        All of these writers and parents here are absolutely disgusting and messed up in the head. First of all, Meek, check your spelling and grammar before you post. You’re trying to sound smart and educated, but you’re just proving that you’re actually not. Second of all, monitoring your kid’s every move on their phone is disturbing. I understand that nothing is private on phones or the Internet anymore. However, sites like this one seek to take away a teen’s freedom. I can understand monitoring a younger child on a phone, especially when it’s harder for them to comprehend the possible consequences of bad decisions they make online. However, it is a different thing to monitor a teenager, especially one that is old enough to drive. If you teach your kids about the dangers of the Internet, they won’t want to use these sites and apps in dangerous ways. However, these writers and parents aren’t primarily concerned with their teen’s safety. They’re determined to control their teen for as long as they can. They don’t care if they make socialization harder for the teen by taking away their small bits of freedom they get from social media sites. Instead of properly teaching the teen why certain moves on the Internet are dangerous, they’re simply taking away their freedom. Teens are close to adulthood and should be given more freedom. After all, letting a teen have some freedom before adulthood makes that teen more likely to be able to deal with making big decisions as an adult. I know I probably won’t be able to convince any parents here that what they’re doing is wrong, but I rest my case.

        • Meek

          This aint college exams this is a social site. You check it. You understood what I wrote point made.

          GTFOOHWTBS BYE FELICIA

          • MarianaRedWixi

            I actually had trouble understanding what you wrote for the first sentence in your second because of the massive grammatical errors… Maybe someone should monitor your activity online. Also, isn’t it ironic that parents come to a social site in order to find ways to make other social sites harder for their teens to use?

          • Meek

            I read a few sentences that you’ve time because majority of your opinion is a waste of time. Children need to be monitored. I have no problems with my children, and I stay on top of what they are doing and where they are going because as a loving parent that is my job. Perhaps you like loose and wild children but not me. Yes I am controlling. Someone has to be in control otherwise there will be chaos. You really need a reality check and some understanding on how children of difference cultures act. Maybe in the white man’s neighborhood things are perfect. But not in the brown and blacks. When you are praying, make sure to ask God to show you, you. Often people such as yourself make comments with narrow minded thinking.
            Again, my house, my rules, if I’m paying the bill, I wan’t to know what I’m paying for. You don’t live with me you don’t have to like it. My kids know the drill, their are enjoying life, and they know hey, check in with mom because this world is not perfect and neither are they. Their father is a lot worse. Good bye Mariana.

          • MarianaRedWixi

            I said this before, but clearly you didn’t read it, so I’ll say it again: younger children should be monitored. What I’m trying to say is that it’s a different thing to monitor an 8 year old than it is to monitor a 16 year old. Even as they become teens, monitor them with important things such as grades. I never said that I like loose and wild children. What you don’t understand is this: if you control a child too much, they are more likely to go crazy and wild as an adult. You don’t help the prevention of chaos by keeping such a tight leash on your children. This is something that is true across all cultures. And apparently you’re a racist as well because you automatically assumed that I was white. Nothing is perfect in any community: color has nothing to do with it. Stop bringing race into this. And I’m not being narrow-minded: again, I understand monitoring younger children for their own safety. In fact, it is you who’s being narrow-minded because you’re attacking me and ignoring large, crucial portions of my argument. And you think I don’t ask God to show me the worst parts of myself? Believe me, I do. And I know I have some ugly flaws: that’s human nature. However, a key difference between me and you is that I don’t pretend that I’m perfect and I refuse to put up a holier-than-thou façade.
            If it’s really that big of a deal, then let your older kids get a job to pay for it. But you probably won’t let them pay themselves because then you lose your excuse to monitor them. And are they truly enjoying life with you? Or are you just making this up to try and win on the Internet? Nobody is perfect, including both me and you. And stop bringing personal sob stories to the Internet. If your kids wrote something like that on the Internet, wouldn’t you punish them for writing that? Just think about that.

          • Meek

            Blah blah blah

            Mrs. Tameka Bell

          • MarianaRedWixi

            Keeping it classy as always, I see.
            Not.

          • Meek

            For what? This is social media. Who needs class? Go have a drink and relax. You have online courage to post your opinion so hell I posted mine. If you looking for class, you dam sure will not find it online or with me, not here. For what? Hefa sit down. You cant see half the things going on around you. And you’re definitely not portraying it either.

          • MarianaRedWixi

            Actually, some measure of class should always be held, no matter what the situation is. The fact that you don’t think so just goes to show how classless you are. And what are you even monitoring your kids for if it’s not to make them hold some measure of class? Also, you really shouldn’t encourage people to drink. And maybe I can’t see even half the things going on around me, but you can’t either, so stop acting all high and mighty. But I digress. I can’t beat you in this fight. After all, it’s impossible to win against an idiot.

          • Meek

            You’re looking in the mirror. Since you opened the door the name calling. I guess you are now showing your ass. Hahahaha but im the idiot.
            Takes one to know one.

    • Meek

      Please keep in mind a child is age 0 – 17 (18 if still high school). The hell I look like not monitor everything my CHILD does. No wonder children bring knives to school, bully or become bullied, posting nasty pictures online, have booty shaking videos on social media. I knew a parent like you (if you are a parent) whose child was abducted because she was soooo trusting of her 12 year old. The kid is dead now, murdered by the man she was messaging through social media. The mom, dead, suicide, she couldn’t live with the guilt.

      I watched my niece post a provocative video online. Her mom only found out because she overheard the kids referring to her child as a whore.

      As a parent so many things we can educate and help our children to avoid, and even intervene in situations where kids THINK they know what they are doing.

      Dam right I watch my child’s every move. She doesn’t know everything that I monitor but I have peace of mind knowing that she can make good decisions, she knows how to conduct herself online.

      Since my process is not broke, there’s no need for me to change it. As soon as my kids walks across that stage holding her diploma, she can do whatever she likes as my main job will be done.

      As far as lying goes, my kids don’t even have to open their mouths because I already know. Additionally, we have the open door policy, no need to lie. We have great dialogue on many topics. I give the whole truth and they respect me for that.

      I’m a very proud parent of 2 well behaved kids. One on the way to college. She’s lived a wonderful teenage life, she hasn’t missed anything. So we snooping around in her phone didn’t stop her for enjoying life so long as she respects herself.

      Poor Zach, whatever you are going through with your parents, perhaps you are child….not everyone parents the same.

      Good luck buddy.

  • Javon Johnson

    I recently wrote a book called “Now Trending” which is available on Amazon.com dealing with stuff like this.

  • Josh

    Yes I agree Ray, Zachary Dallaire sound like a kid him self that has the whole world figured out and dosent understand the meaning of being a parent and there job to keep there kids safe and privacy is earned Zack like when you have your own house and pay all your own bills. And why should a lot lie to there parents or want to become a better liar if that’s your mind set bless your heart you will be living proof of alot of life lessions. But some people only learn the hard way good luck

  • Meek

    According to the law, im responsible for my child till 18. According to me, its for life. With that being said, until 18 i need to know everything dam thing because #1 im not going to jail because of something my kid did, #2 im not with the late night “Ma come get me their shooting” calls when I told your ass not to go to that area #3 if you want privacy, move out. The cycle is viscious. We all thought we knew everything as a teen. Had no dam clue of what the real world was like until moved out had children. Same speech my parenta gave me, i gave to my kids…”You dont know shit about life but you gone find out if you think for a second that I wont put you out my house”….i dodnt want to be homeless & i did have a brain i was just stubborn. So i shaped up. Thank Goodness because my friends that I was rollong with….on welfare with herds of kids. Me, im married with 2 children we are living very comfortable. Went to college & im here to testify. My kids they respect us & they appreciate and understand what we do. Had to do a different approach but same principle my parents did.

  • Meek

    So MariannaRedWixi said I have no class but she called me an idiot for having a difference of opinion, Then deleted her comment AS IF a copy wasnt already sent to my email. Then she said I’m acting high & mighty when she’s correcting all my grammar on media sites. And she wants to “pray” for me. Such arrogance & self righteousness. I am on the floor with laughter!

  • Charlie

    To all the parents reading this I hope you have fun following this advice as you will only drive your kid away and further widen the already distant relationship you have with them considering your on a blog about how to spy on your kids. You are not good parents no matter what you think just remember that. This is literally adult propaganda. I used kik for 3 years on my iPod due to the fact tags I couldn’t use iMessage but still wanted to text my fiends and I did this without one incident might I add. The only way someone can meet a “sexual predator” on kik is if they go looking for one in which case you have much bigger problems to deal with. There’s also this thing called a block button where you can BLOCK a fellow social media user which is available on every single social media sight. And as for the rest of the apps that were named in this essay (which was clearly written by an overbearing mother who has no idea how to handle her kids and even less of an idea of what social media is about) they are simply video chat servers. Yes there can be predators lurking on these sights but there are block options which are 100% effective. Maybe if you taught your kid shoe to not initiate contact with sexual predators in the first place this could all be avoided. And just to be clear social media is perfectly operable without having to run into any problem whatsoever so stop blaming the kids, stop blaming social media and start blaming your pride ridden selves

    • Charlie

      *that *friends *how