DA warns parents about new app - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports, Social

DA warns parents about new app

Nelson said a recent survey shows most teens do have something to hide. (FOX 8 Photo) Nelson said a recent survey shows most teens do have something to hide. (FOX 8 Photo)
NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) -

A district attorney is warning parents about a new app. Parents check it out. If you think your teen is just really into math, you may want to think again. The app looks harmless enough, but it has the Blount County, Ala., District Attorney Pamela Casey posting a video message to parents on Facebook about it.

"As you and I know, if one child knows about it, many children know about it," Casey said. "Take a minute, grab that phone, and look for the Calculator%. Make sure you stay on top of that." 

There are few options available in both Apple's app store and Google Play. They allow users to hide picture and video behind a calculator. While the calculator actually works, if you enter a secret code, those pictures you don't want some to see are unlocked. 

Tulane University social media expert Ashley Nelson said parents need to monitor what their kids are doing on their phones.

"It comes all back to monitoring what your kids are doing," she said. "I think so many people give a kid a phone and don't do anything with it. We wouldn't do that when we give them the keys to a car - we train them. So part of it is just training a child what to do, what's appropriate, what are the consequences if it is not appropriate." 

Nelson said a recent survey shows most teens do have something to hide.

"This McAfee study that came out recently says that 70 percent of teens are using their phones for something that they don't want their parents to know, and what's interesting is I actually think that is kind of low," Nelson said. "Fifty-three percent of these teens are deleting their browser history, and to me that's a red flag. As a parent, if the history browser is being deleted on a phone, a tablet, or even a laptop that they use for school, what are they searching? What do they not want you to see?"

If you're concerned, both experts recommend having a talk with your kids.

"I want to take a minute to let parents know about this," Casey said. "Again, this is what the app looks like. I encourage you to look at your child's phone. If you see Calculator%, you're going to want to talk to your child about what their secret code is, because they have that code to hide photos." 

The creators of the app gave us this statement:

"The designed purpose for the application is to allow users to store private and sensitive information or documents in a safe place. The application is intended for adults not minors. Digital Mind merely creates applications that act as a storage medium. The creators do not promote or support an exchange of illicit photos by minors through any means."

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