The Private Photo Calculator App was extremely popular in 2016. There are now hundreds of apps that allow students to hide their inappropriate photos behind an innocent looking calculator app (or another style of app that looks innocent). These apps are popular because they help a student to hide their behavior from their parents. Many of these apps help students to hide their sexting photos and other inappropriate images/videos from prying eyes.
We strongly believe that a healthy dialog with your students is the best way to prevent your students from using apps like this.
Consider joining our next online safety webinar to learn more about good and bad teen apps.
Watch our Private Photo Calculator App Video:
What is the Private Photo Calculator App?
- The “Private Photo Calculator” app is designed to help students hide photos and videos behind an innocent looking calculator app
- In 2018, Apple removed the app from the App Store amid a police investigation but several similar apps have taken its place
- This application looks like a calculator but entering a passcode opens a private area
- All files are securely stored in the app and cannot be viewed in the default iPhone camera roll
The Private Photo Calculator app in the news:
Just days after Police urged parents to be ‘vigilant’ about [the Private Photo Calculator app], the app has vanished from Apple.
An Alabama prosecutor posted a warning for parents about a photo-hiding app for smartphones [the Private Photo Calculator app].
Why should parents care?
- Apps like the Private Photo Calculator App are still extremely popular with students despite them being removed from the App Store
- There are now hundreds of apps that allow students to hide their inappropriate photos behind an innocent looking app
- These apps are popular because they help a student to hide their behavior from their parents
- Many of these apps help students to hide their sexting photos and other inappropriate images/videos from prying eyes
- When students feel like they can hide their behavior they tend to act negatively
How does the Private Photo Calculator app work?
- Calculator app’s icon looks similar to other calculator apps. However, in the iTunes store the app logo is slightly different.
- When you open the app it looks like a regular calculator.
- To access secret photos you need to type a “.” (period) then a 4 digit passcode, and then a “.” (period) again.
- The Calculator app allows you to store photos and videos.
- Only the person that knows the passcode can access the secret pictures.
- Calculator app allows you to take pictures using this app or you can select photos to hide from your existing pictures.
- Pictures can be shared via email.
- If you buy a full version for $0.99 you unlock more features.
Live Demonstration – How the Calculator App works
How to find other secret apps on a phone
- Get your student’s phone
- Visit the App Store
- Type in “secret” or “calculator” (or any other app name)
- If it says “open,” your student has this app
- If it says “get,” your student doesn’t have this app
- The cloud logo means your student used to have the app
What can parents do to keep their kids safe on Calculator app?
- Consider deleting this app
- Remind your kids that everything is public
- Have a dialog with your kids about sexting and sending inappropriate photos to others
- Explain to your kids that they should be careful with sharing their photos with anyone, as they can be forwarded
- When you’re ready for your children to have a phone, teach them how to take positive photos. When students understand that they can still have fun and be silly with their friends, they are less likely to use apps like this
- Follow our suggestions to help your child prepare for the responsibility of being on social media:
- Ages 0-13: Private
- Ages 13: Have a family discussion regarding what should be on social media
- Age 13-14: Build a private portfolio and post positive volunteer photos (and accomplishments/projects) online
- Age 15: Make your portfolio public as a website that helps the students shine online
- Age 17: Colleges should be able to find a positive online footprint for your student