Children may hide porn in hidden apps. SUPPLIED
Children may hide porn in hidden apps. SUPPLIED

Children may hide porn in hidden apps warns PI

By Shanice Naidoo Time of article published Oct 16, 2021

Share this article:

Cape Town - Children can be manipulative, rebellious and quick to trick their parents into almost anything.

Private investigator and owner of Specialised Security Services Mike Bolhuis said it is through the above actions that some children may hide or engage in child pornography.

“Parents need to realise that their children might hide their social media activity from prying eyes. The rules of engagement with your teenager are no longer as clear as they used to be. Without wanting to be a helicopter parent and without wanting to inevitably break trust, most parents still need to protect their children. Around 53% of teenagers clear their browser history, 34% hide/delete IMs or videos, 21% use an internet-enabled mobile device, and the list goes on. In other words, parents have reason to be worried,” said Bolhuis.

He stated that private apps could be buried in folders.

“These apps tend to look like a standard calculator. There are several apps with inauspicious names: calculator/app launchers/photo vaults, which hide other apps inside them. These apps have a pin or a specific type of calculation to unlock and reveal the apps hidden in their folders. Vault apps are used for securing photos and other sensitive files should someone get their hands on an unlocked phone,” said Bolhuis.

He said that young boys and girls as young as 11 meet on messaging apps, where they create an extended following by creating the perfect profile.

Bolhuis said pornography was a multibillion-rand industry run by unscrupulous syndicates.

“These people have no integrity and definitively no empathy for any of their victims, even if they are only 11 years old,” he said.

Psychologist Michelle Nell said that should a child be exposed to pornography, it constitutes a form of sexual abuse.

“Children sometimes mimic what they see and want to practise it with their friends or sometimes younger children. The porn they see is often far-fetched from reality. They may even become addicted. The more they watch, the more they want more,” she said.

Nell said that just like any addiction they might become withdrawn, irritable and it may affect their school performance, also becoming aggressive. “It is at the age of around 13 when puberty sometimes hits that a child starts to make decisions about their body,” she said.

A cybercrime expert, Dewaldt Huysamen, said child porn starts when children start when they have access to a smartphone or are given one and just start googling key phrases. The other way is through using social media and sending a short video of themselves masturbating or naked and then it may escalate to more.

Weekend Argus

Share this article: