Decoy apps

As its name suggests, a decoy app is the use of an app installed on an electronic device with the purpose of hiding whatever is inside, such as pictures, messages or videos. It presents itself as one thing, while it actually does another. 

The actual app itself will have an icon of something a lot more innocent. For example, a decoy calculator will be able to hide other things. Access to a hidden compartment is controlled by a passcode.

Why might a child use a decoy app?

  • To store and hide their photos, videos and sometimes their text messages.
  • To avoid suspicion.
  • To throw off a curious parent or guardian. 

How do I deal with decoy apps?

  • Be aware of the apps a child uses.
  • Download them all yourself to test them.
  • Try to think why a decoy app might be downloaded.
  • If you notice two apps that are the same (such as a calculator), question why this is.
  • Consider the child’s behaviour; have they been anxious or agitated?

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