WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWTI) — Local experts are warning parents and guardians of photo vaults, commonly fake calculator apps, allowing children to hide videos and photos on their cell phones.

Victims Assistance Center of Jefferson County Director of Advocacy and Safe Harbour Coordinator Kiley Hiyler spoke more on these apps and how they often are a way child can hide inappropriate content.

According to Hiyler, the app looks and functions like any calculator app. However, users can set a passcode to unlock a “vault” which can be used to store videos and photos.

Hilyer said she has run into apps like the fake calculator through cases at the center. 

“It usually means if they’re trying to hide something, that there’s something wrong with what they’re trying to hide.”

And how to combat this?

Hilyer shared the best way is to check the App Store or Google Play to see if the app has been previously downloaded. If so, parents or guardians can then be “on the look out” for apps like this.

Hilyer concluded by sharing one of the best strategies to practice avoiding any instances such as these is to communicate with your children on the content they keep on their phones and set boundaries.