What the Tech: Secret apps

A word of caution for parents of teens and preteens. Those apps you see on their phones may not be what they seem.

You’ll know if your kids are on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or Snapchat. Those apps are easy to spot on a smartphone. What’s not easy to spot are a number of apps that look like something else.

There are dozens of apps for both iPhone and Android that look like one app but are actually another.

Secret calculator looks like a calculator but behind the icon is a hidden folder for photos, videos, text messages, contacts, and audio they don’t want you to find. It will also hide traces of websites they’re visiting.

For Android users, app lock is the most popular secret app in the play store. Over 100 million downloads. It hides behind a icon that looks like a locker. It’ll hide texts, contacts, gmail, Facebook, photos, and calls. Take a photo with your phone you don’t want anyone to see, select it, and it’ll vanish from your photo library but get stored in the secret folder.

Calculator looks like any old calculator app. It’s probably the sneakiest too. It acts just like an advanced calculator, until you tap in the numbers for the passcode and the percent sign. Users can also set a fake password so that if a parent or anyone else figures this out and demands a passcode, the user can type in the decoy and the hidden vault appears empty.

Other hidden apps are smart hide calculator, secret apps, don’t touch this, ultimate secret box, and calculator percentage.

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