Is Your Child’s Phone Calculator Safe?

Phone calculators. Innocent. Educational. They’re great, right? Be careful, Mom and Dad.

I saw frightening news on the Today Show this morning. Kids can now hide secret apps on their cell phones that are accessible through a calculator plus app. The sites your child may visit by this mean will not be in their browser history. So while you may think you are monitoring their every move, you’re not.

Savannah Sellers, host of Snapchat’s Stay Tuned, appeared on the Today Show to warn parents the calculator plus may hide websites where children can privately interact with others. Those apps may include live text, voice, or video chats. Many open the door for inappropriate behavior and/or interactions with strangers.

Several police departments around the country are warning parents to watch out for several apps. They are promoting the “15 Apps Parents Should Know About” poster pictured below. (

Fifteen Apps poster

Read the Sarasota News Fox 13 article (staff reporter) highlighting those apps here, or the article by Jordan Mickle of WTMJ-TV Milwaukee which also describes the apps individually here.

More importantly, to see how easily the calculator is to use, watch Savannah Sellers Today Show broadcast on Twitter here.

BE SURE TO WATCH UNTIL THE END where Savannah shows the phone calculator and  the calculator plus app side by side and how simple it is for your child to open. She enters a number, hits the percent sign, and a world of secret apps and photos magically appear.

Sellers ends her report by quipping, “It is a rabbit hole you do not want your kids to go down.”


CJ Zahner lives in Erie, Pennsylvania. She is a wife, mother, grandmother, and author. Follow CJ on InstagramTwitterFacebookGoodreadsBookBubLinkedIn. Find out about her books on Amazon or BookCircle Online.