What’s the harm in a photo or an app?

A few weeks ago at least a 100 students in were involved in a possessing and distributing naked photos of themselves and others.  Authorities discovered a large sexting ring that was virtually hidden.  These teenagers were circulating 300-400 images.  The images were mostly shared on their cell phones.   You can read the article on The New York Times here.  The most alarming thing is that the school and parents found hundred of these photos on secret photo storing apps.

The principal of Canon City High School stated, “While sexting among children is a rampant problem, “I hope no other school has it at the level we have it at,” Bret Meuli, the principal of Cañon City High School, said in an interview in his office. “But I fear we aren’t the only ones.”  I am sure there are other ones.  I am sure that this isn’t just a one time thing.  This is the new reality, and as parents become more and more aware of things are going to be pushed underground.  One parent from this school stated, “I’m frustrated if people knew and didn’t shut it down three years ago.”  Parents should be frustrated, their kids lives are being destroyed by images that will be forever associated with them.

Parents should know what apps their kids have, and what they are using them for.  These are essentially the parents devices.  They are the ones likely paying for the bill, and the phone.  Knowing what an app does can be a difficult thing when some apps hid things, or hid the icon to look like a calculator.

There are tons of vault press apps out there, but here are some popular ones.  This is what you should be looking for when checking out a kids phone for secret apps that are hiding photos.

  1. Private Photo Vault (iOS)

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2. Secret photos KYMS Free. (iOS)

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3. Hide SMS. (Android)

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4. KeepSafe (iOS and Android)

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5. Private Photo (Calculator%) (iOS)

Screen Shot 2015-11-17 at 11.59.33 PMThis is no complete list by any means.  What this is meant to do is start a conversation.  A conversation with youth workers and parents.  We need to work together to help students navigate a digital world where there are legal consequences for inappropriate actions.


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