What are your kids up to? Parental alert about ghost apps

By Sofia Ojeda - Anchor/Reporter

HOUSTON - There is a dangerous trend parents need to know about.  Do you know what your kids are doing on their cellphones when you're not looking?

And even if you do check your teens' phones regularly, the latest technology called "Ghost Apps" could be hiding all of their activity.

Mike Harris investigates internet child sex crimes.
He teaches many things, including sexting.
He says there's an app out there that looks exactly like a calculator, but it's not, it's called a ghost app.

"If you don't know the code and the parent just thinks it's a working app," says Harris.

And parents will probably not look any further.
Any pictures, or activity will stay hidden in that app.

Experts say this technology has been out for quite awhile and can mask anything from pictures to conversations and videos.

"Ghost apps, hidden apps they're everywhere and the kids know about them and then we as parents, even if we try to be vigilant, check our kids' technology devices, we're not going to see them there," says Harris.

Harris wants parents to be smarter than their kids, or at least just as smart.

"We suggest that parents put on parental controls. if your kid needs an app, or wants an app, you find out what does that app do, why do you want this? if you agree with it, then you put in the parent pass code, the kid doesn't know it and then you allow them to download that app," says Harris.

Another thing parents need to keep in mind, any teen is indeed capable of sending inappropriate pictures.

Harris says he's heard too many times, "my kid would never do this."

So talk to your kids, tell them you will be monitoring their phones and their activity, and have a conversation with your children.

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