What is Tech? Protect your children online | What is Technology?

iPhones and Android devices have very good parental controls. Monitor what children do and when they do them. But children have secrets they don’t want you to find out.

They don’t use traditional text messaging. They use apps like Snapchat, WhatsApp, WeChat, and one of dozens of other messaging apps their friends use. These applications allow encrypted messages that disappear after a few minutes or after reading them. So even if you look, you won’t see anything.

They might not even be messaging apps per se. Gaming, Discord, Twitch and other apps allow users to send messages and images.

Verifying these apps can be difficult. If someone wants to hide apps from their home screen, it’s easy to do. On iPhones, parents can scroll through the home screens to see a list of apps loaded on the phone. Or, tap on their account in the App Store, then purchased, to see everything that has been downloaded to the phone.

Kids can hide chats, messages, pictures and videos in hidden locker apps. These are often disguised as music or calculator apps. They require a secret code. But they also have a secondary or dummy secret code, so if parents ask to see inside, kids can give them a dummy code to open a locker with pictures they don’t mind.

Google Docs can also be used to send and share private messages and lock them so no one else can find them.

The best advice for parents is to talk with children about what you expect and the dangers of using smartphones. And if you’re the parent of a child 12 and under, you might want to ask yourself if he really needs a computer in his hand all day.

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