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Vault App in Kids' Hand Is a Recipe for Trouble


May 26, 2023

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Vault App in Kids' Hand Is a Recipe for Trouble

Children are using vault apps to hide photos, multimedia files and other applications from their parents, and few moms and dads know that this is happening or even know what to look for.

Asking parents how they safeguard their kids' online interactions usually generates the same type of answers. They either don't or they use some form of parental control from the operating system or a third-party app. But children are much more inventive than we give them credit, more in tune with new technologies than previous generations, and have more options to choose from.

Among those options are vault apps, a lesser-known category of applications with a single purpose -- to block content from prying eyes. But it's one thing to block a particular app or access to a folder by asking for credentials, and a completely different situation when that content is entirely invisible to other people.

Some vault apps, available on all platforms, including Android and iOS, work by disguising themselves as something else. This is where some parents might have a problem finding inappropriate content on their kids' devices.

To be fair, vault apps have their purpose and don't represent an issue when adults use them. That's one reason they're allowed in official stores in the first place. But the same apps could end up on children's devices.

Kids could hide inappropriate multimedia content or even entire apps. It's not uncommon for children to have two accounts on the same platform and only share the content of one account with their parents.

The biggest issue is posed by vault apps that pretend to be something else. For example, Calculator+ on iOS works and looks just like a calculator, but there's more to that app. It can also hide photos, videos, notes and bookmarks and even features a fully functional built-in browser. The same type of apps can be found on Android and even Windows.

Parents’ best tools when it comes to protecting the digital life of their children is knowledge. They first must know of the potential threats, and then they need to know what kids have on their devices. And that includes all types of vault apps that could be used to hide content and applications.




Silviu is a seasoned writer who followed the technology world for almost two decades, covering topics ranging from software to hardware and everything in between.

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