(KMGH/CNN) — An investigation is underway after officials say students at a Colorado high school swapped hundreds of nude photos of themselves.
Several students have been suspended.
A school official says students hid the images in an application that disguises itself as a calculator or media player.
A quick search in the Apple app store reveals hundreds of these private vault, secret photo apps, hidden as calculators or audio managers.
“It is an application it does work, but there is also the dark side,” said Metro State security expert Steve Beaty. It’s secret place to store photos, messages or browse the Internet.
In Canon City, administrators uncovered students using the apps to collect and share naked photos.
“It might be funny or fun today,” said Beaty, “but 10 years from now, is that really what you want to have out there?”
Beaty said that while the apps aren’t new, the technology is becoming more sophisticated. “They are able to hide more and more things.”
Many of the apps are so advanced, they allow two passwords — type in one and everything on the app disappears, but put in another, perhaps only known to you, and it’s all back.
“You have to type in exactly the right number to unlock and get behind and see the photos.”
While teens may think the photos are hidden from Mom and Dad. Beaty said there’s nothing stopping the developers of the apps from sharing the photos.
“It could just take your hidden photos and send them to somebody else on the ‘Net, and there you go, your information is then compromised in ways you never imagined.”
Experts say the takeaway for parents is to check their kids’ phones for apps that seem out-of-place and be aware of when new apps are downloaded.