Private Photo App
There is an app called Private Photo that allows people to hide photos under a seemingly innocent app, such as a calculator. The calculator works as a calculator, but you can punch in a secret code to see a hidden photo collection. Attorney Pamela Casey of Alabama says, “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. They have that code there to hide photos” (“District Attorney Warns Parents,” Sept. 5, 2015, Petapixel.com). Private Photo is only one of many such apps. As we warn in the new course The Mobile Phone and the Christian Home and Church, young people can be very adapt at finding ways around parental rules. One parent wrote, “They are amazingly capable of turning simple devices into tools of communication. My oldest daughter had a Nook reading device when she was 13. We didn’t think it was capable of being used as a device to communicate. Teens, however, from all over the world began leaving comments on the ‘book review’ section of the web site it links to (Barnes & Noble, I believe), and those comments became give and take communication. They described themselves to each other, gave out addresses and phone numbers, discussed things that make me blush.” Another parent said, “Children can turn simple game systems like a Nintendo Wii video console into an Internet communication device. Mine have. We even had one hack into our home wifi to allow Internet-based gaming on a personal computer though I had expressly disallowed that. These kids can figure that stuff out; no one should think they are protected if the child has access to a computer or game system; they WILL find a way to communicate with their friends.” Another wrote, “Young people can use their phone for code to fool their parents. Recently a parent had their daughter get involved with a young boy and did not know about it for months. The girl ran off with the boy. The parents found her, separated her from the boy, and limited her cell phone for use only with family members. The girl had set up a way for her sisters to give her boyfriend messages through her text messages to her sisters. They had a code for each one of the emotion signs, such as ‘the smiley face means _____.’ Again, the parents did not know; they just thought she was texting her sisters!” Parents today must know enough about technology to help and protect the children.
(Friday Church News Notes, September 11, 2015, www.wayoflife.org, firstname.lastname@example.org, 866-295-4143)
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