PLANO (CBSDFW.COM) – Predators, scammers and cyber bullies could all be hiding in children’s phone, according to a new warning from Plano police.
The Plano Police Department has a list of apps police said children use to hide messages and photos from their parents.
It may look like a basic calculator, but it’s actually an app that will access hidden photos with the use of a secret code.
Plano police said children can hide interactions with predators and bullies without their parents even knowing about it.
Coy Hirth said he had no idea what his daughter Audrey was going through last year.
“As a parent I felt like I was failing,” said Coy, a parent.
His 15-year-old daughter, Audrey, said she was bullied for months through Snapchat, a social media app.
“Last year, I got told to kill myself by two guys,” said Audrey. “It felt like I was worthless and no one wanted me. I just kept it to myself most of the time and hurt myself because of it.”
Snapchat is on a list of more than a dozen apps that Plano police urge parents to monitor on their child’s phones, not only for signs of bullying, but also for sex predators and scammers.
“Doing research on this, the more concerned I became with the safety the safety of our children,” said
Officer David Tilley of the Plano Police Department. “A lot of kids don’t want to come forward because they feel weak if they’re being cyber bullied.”
Police are not only exposing the apps that can hide messages from bullies or predators, but also apps that can hide explicit photos a child may not want a parent to see.
“This calculator is no more than a photo vault,” said Tilley.
After counseling, Audrey is learning to cope with her bad experience.
Her father is helping by getting rid of the apps that allowed bullies to target her more easily.
“I told her to delete them and she deleted them,” said Coy.
Police said they’re not suggesting the apps they’ve compiled a list of are bad. They said they just want to give parents a guide to know which ones to monitor.
Here’s a list of the apps:
- Audio Manager
- Calculator %
- Burn Note
- Kik Messenger
- Tik Tok
- Yik Yak