‘Ghost app’ is a blanket term for several apps available on the market that enable users to covertly hide information on their phone or tablet. Such apps allow you to keep your pictures, videos, text messages, social networking chats and contacts hidden from others that may access your device by locking this data with a passcode. Ghost apps are often masked behind a fake home screen which appears to function as a completely different app, such as a calculator.
Young people often use ghost apps to conceal what they are doing on their devices from their parents. With some ghost apps, if someone attempts to open it using an incorrect passcode, the app will record and store the failed attempt.
Most ghost apps have no specific age restrictions to download and install them on a device.
Parents concerned about ghost apps can take proactive measures by enabling parental controls.
For families with iPhones, parents can screen apps before they are downloaded to their children’s iPhones with a feature called Ask to Buy.
By turning on Ask to Buy, whenever a child wants to download an app (whether free or paid), it sends a request to the parent’s iPhone, and the parent can then approve or deny the download. Setup instructions, which are available on Apple’s website, involve setting up each applicable iPhone with Family Sharing and then enabling Ask to Buy for the child’s iPhone.
For families with Android devices, parents can enable parental controls inside the Google Play app store to allow children to only download apps at a certain maturity level.
Most ghost apps are free to download from the App store and Google play. You can upgrade to premium versions which offer more features. Some ghost apps offer in-app purchases.