The dangers of hidden ‘ghost apps’

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CHICAGO -- Many say mobile phone apps say a lot about a person; you download what you like -- your hobbies, interests, whatever. So how well do you know your kids?

You might learn a lot by looking into their apps; "ghost apps" may be right under a parent's nose and they don't even know it.

Vault apps were largely created to hide, conceal and protect, really. Things like sensitive files, photos, videos on your mobile device, but this is something different: in the past year, the dawn of the "ghost app,” it's now being used to dupe parents and skirt the law.

Here's what to do: flip through your kids' apps and make sure you as a parent understand the apps defined purpose.

Monitor purchasing activity. Add parental controls if you think it will help,  if you can. And watch for this tell tale sign of trouble: some of these ghost apps are so secure, if a parent or anyone else tries to break in, it can snap their photo while they are doing it. Caught red-handed!

Some apps even have a panic button --with a quick move it sends the suspicious parent or principal somewhere else.

Others will simply "self-destruct" and very effectively erase whatever was being concealed.

In the end, the experts say thwarting this high tech cyber crime takes parents and their kids back to the basics: communication. find out what's going on the old fashioned way: talking.