What is the Calculator%?
The Calculator% is a secure photo and video storage app which is disguised as a calculator app. The app appears as a calculator when opened and then the user enters a password to see their folders. There are several apps which have a similar purpose which also fall under the ghost app category where the intention of the app is to hide its true purpose from anyone else but the owner of the app.
The app can be used to store private photos and videos which may be of a sexual nature, browse the internet with no history or users can use it to store passwords.
How it might be used?
Calculator% can be used to stored photos or videos which can be shared through any other social media or file sharing apps such as drop box or google drive or through WiFi if another person has the app. The intention of the app is to hide private photos and videos and has features such as an alert button which lets the user automatically return the app to a calculator mode if someone else is around.
Is it free or do you have to pay for it?
For this particular secret calculator app there is a free and paid version, the paid version allows you to have more features such as the WiFi photo transfer feature or recording a intruders attempt to open the app, taking their photo and recording the GPS. Other similiar ghost apps which are used to store photos also have free and paid versions.
How can you tell if your child has downloaded it?
If you have a linked Apple account you can search through your ‘Apple id’ account on the app store and see the apps that your child has downloaded. If this is not the case we would advise checking your child’s phone if they are in primary school. If your child is older we would advise having a open conversation about this app and the other app your child uses to discuss the potential issues which surround sexting as well as their own privacy and protection online.
Risks include images being shared without consent by a stranger or partner, or someone gaining access to the app and saved content content. Openness is very important.
How can we stay safe on it?
Our advice is that parents can support their children to keep safer online by talking to their children about their online behaviour, and about how to protect their safety, privacy and security. Avoiding the app entirely will reduce the risk entirely.
How do I talk to my child about it?
Have the conversation,
‘I heard about this app which may pose some risks, I think we should talk about the apps that you are using to ensure they are safe…I don’t think it’s safe to use because having images like that on your phone leaves you exposed and open to someone potentially taking advantage of that. I want you to know that if you ever feel concerned about any apps or websites you use you can come and talk to me about them.’