SPECIAL REPORT: Catch Them Red-Handed

(WTVM) - You've heard the saying, there's an app for that... meaning you can find an application for just about anything.

We found some new, unique apps that protect you and your privacy. In this special report, find out how to play detective with your cell phone.

Cell phones are now the way of the world. Text messaging, pictures, contacts and apps allow consumers to do some amazing things.

But snoopers can easily access your private business. We found M.C. McMillan, a pastor in Mobile, Alabama who says he recently caught one of his church members red handed peeping on his cell phone.

"My phone was unattended for a period of time and one of my staffers being a little nosey about my personal life got my phone and accessed my code, because they know it," said McMillan.

McMillan's church member had no idea he had installed Watch It, an app for iPhone users.

"Low and behold it snapped the picture of the person and time they actually opened my phone," McMillan said.

McMillan says the woman went into his phone four or five times, and the app also gave her location. When he got the phone back he approached her.

"I said, 'I know you've accessed my phone 4 or 5 times without my permission.' She said, 'No, no.' I basically opened up the app and showed them the picture and she was shocked, astonished," McMillan said.

McMillan paid $1.99 for the app and says it was well worth it.

Other apps called Hidden Eye and Lookout for Android and iPhones help you do the same thing.

Lookout, a California mobile security company conducted a study on who's eying your phone, and the results may surprise you.

Alicia DeVittorio, consumer safety advocate for Lookout, shared the findings with us via Skype.

"We found that one in three people admit to looking into other peoples phones without their permission, pretty significant stat," DeVittorio said.

Lookout also found that 50 percent of people fail to put a passcode on their phones to block people from getting their personal information.

We also found another cool app called Watch Over Me that allows you to send alerts to people when you're in a dangerous situation.

We ran across Ava Rodriguez and her college friends in downtown Columbus.  They didn't know any of these apps existed, but they didn't waste any time downloading them.

"I think it's better," Rodriguez said. "It probably will protect you more than just yelling and calling out for help."

Here's how the Watch Over Me app works: first, you create an account, then you choose an event like meet someone and key in the estimated time of arrival. Add emergency contacts, register the event and your final step is confirm your safe arrival.

LeTrisha Kartz is married. She was more intrigued with the snooping app than the Watch Over Me app. She let us in on a little secret...she admitted to snooping into her husbands' phone but she wouldn't want him looking at her's.

"What do you think your husband might say about that?" asked News Leader 9's Roslyn Giles.

"He wouldn't like it, but he'd be okay," Kartz laughed. "I think it's your own personal belongs and you kind of want that to yourself."

Kartz is not alone...according to Lookout, 14 percent of women surveyed say they looked to check text messages and emails more often than men. Only eight percent of men polled had this motivation.

"Interestingly what we found is that men are more interested in the pictures and women are more interested in the texts and emails...kind of an interesting nuance there," DeVittorio said.

The Lookout and Watch Over Me apps are free. For any of these apps, just go to the app store on your cell phone and start downloading.

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