Decoy Apps - Advice for Professionals

As its name suggests, a decoy app is a mobile application designed for the purpose of misdirection. It presents itself as one thing, while it actually does another.

And the thing that decoy apps generally do is hide stuff. On a decoy calculator the calculator will work but will also provide an additional function; access to a hidden compartment 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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