Hide apps and teen privacy


There has been social media uproar and negative press lately regarding “hide apps.” The stories warn parents about teens using such apps to hide pictures and other data from them. In a nutshell, if your child downloads and uses a hide app to store pictures and contact information, you would not be able to readily find the items if you were going through your child’s phone.

An alarming post about one of these apps, the calculator % app, was a YouTube video created by an Alabama district attorney, Pamela Casey. In it, she portrays the app as a secretive, harmful tool that teens use to hide data from parents. She shows parents what to look for on their kids’ phones to determine if they are using the hide app.

There are two reasons I do not like the video or the uproar. First, the app, and other hide apps, have a purpose in today’s technological world. We use our smartphones for everything from taking photos to banking. We store information on our phones for which we do not want others to be able to readily see or easily access.

You want to be able to lend your phone to someone who might need to make phone call or send a quick text in the event he or she doesn’t have his or her phone or the battery is dead. But at the same time, you don’t want them to have access to your personal information. I’m sure there are other acceptable and safety concern reasons to want to hide data on a phone. We need apps like these to protect ourselves from identity theft and to ensure privacy. However, when these apps are touted as being used by teens in defiance of their parents, they earn undeserved notoriety.

The second reason I do not like the video is because it assumes if a teen is exercising his or her right to privacy, he or she is up to no good. Teens need some privacy. And while that privacy needs to be earned, part of growing up is being free to keep diaries and other personal information out of the public realm in the expanding “personal” universe they are developing under the guidance of their parents.

So what do parents do about hide apps? Introduce these tools to your teens and explain why they were developed. Show them how to use them to protect personal data like banking information or e-books and games that are too mature for younger siblings.

As for worrying about your teen hiding things from you, don’t. They are hiding things from you. It’s in the teen handbook. It’s what they do. But if you have a good relationship with your teen that includes open communication and lots of family engagement, you don’t need to worry about their secretive, personal life.

That said, you have every right to know where they are going and with whom. And you still control what they eat and wear on your dime. These fall on the parent’s job description. It’s what parents do.

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Related Content

15 Things to Do This Weekend in the Triad (June 9-11)

Weekend events, activities, and fun things to do for kids of all ages in Winston-Salem, Greensboro, Kernersville, High Point and surrounding area.

Local Students Assist with Development of New Peppercorn Theatre at Kaleideum Play

"The Sky Game" opens Friday, June 16 at Delta Arts Center in Winston-Salem.

Free Movies for Families in the Triad

Free movies for kids, teens and families in Winston-Salem, Greensboro and Kernersville
Edit Module

About this Blog

The Daily Post

Hot topics in the realms of parenting and family life.

About This Blog

Myra Wright has been the editor of Piedmont Parent since 2007 and is mom to three kids, ages 16, 13 and 8. Here, she blogs about parenting as well as news and events for Piedmont Triad parents.

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module

Newsletter Sign-Up

Stay connected to what's going on for kids and families in the Triad by signing up for our FREE e-newsletters!


Edit ModuleShow TagsEdit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags

Annual Guides

Education Guide

The all-new 2015-2016 Education Guide is packed with everything parents need to know to navigate more than 500 education options and resources in the Triad, including area preschools, private schools, public school systems, charter schools, boarding schools and academic resources.

GPS [Go. Play. See]

It's your complete family guide to Triad living. Parents are busy and on the go. Use this guide to help you explore all this great area offers for families in Winston-Salem, Greensboro, High Point and surrounding communities.

Exceptional Child

For parents of kids with special needs, finding help and support can be challenging. We've compiled valuable resources for Triad parents in our latest annual publication, Exceptional Child, which is also available as a digital guide.