The Colorado sexting story that has been in the news lately is a valuable teaching moment for all of us, including parents.
Mom and dad, this is your opportunity to have that uncomfortable conversation with your kids and teens about sexting and other harmful online behaviors. You do not need to be a tech expert to have this discussion, but it is a good idea to understand what these apps are, and What is vault on my phone to find them.
How to Find The 'Vault' Photo Apps Vault or Ghost photo apps are apps that disguise themselves as one thing a calculator, a game, or a file manager but with the correct passcode open the 'vault' to hidden photos or videos.
Parents can do a search in App Store for Vault and hundreds of results will come up. Here are a few below. The following images are searches from iOS devices. I suggest doing a Google search for how to find vault apps on Android devices.
So how do you know if your child has a 'vault'? First, you can check their phone for what seems to be duplicate apps, like two calculators. Another way is to do a 'vault' search in the App Store from their phone or tablet. If the vault app is not on their phone, the word "GET" appears next to the app for download.
However, if the app is already on the phone the word "OPEN" appears next to the app. This means that the app is already downloaded on the device.
There are hundreds of these apps so scroll through a few pages to be safe. See the photo below. How to Prevent Kids from Using Vault Apps If you want to do your best to keep these apps from your kids' devices, set parental controls and restrictions upfront. Many of the new Family Sharing plans require kids to 'Ask Permission' to download any app, even free apps. This will help you to take control of what apps they are using. Check with your mobile plan provider or look for What is vault on my phone controls or restriction options on the device itself.
Let's Talk About Sexting This is going to be uncomfortable for everybody but a conversation needs to take place.