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'Saturn' app raises concerns for some Coastal Bend families

Saturn App
Posted at 6:53 AM, Aug 17, 2023
and last updated 2023-08-17 07:53:04-04

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — There is a popular app students are using that is causing concerns for some parents in the Coastal Bend who fear for their child's privacy and safety.

The app is called Saturn. The company currently has over 16,000 different schools using it including many around the Coastal Bend.

It has a calendar feature to help organize their day.

The students can detail their class schedules, location and time frame. That information can be shared with other students. A schedule can even be posted on a person’s social media accounts like Snapchat.

Because of the app's features, parents have expressed concerns about privacy .

Some are saying on social media it’s too easy to create an account. They fear the accessibility could make teens vulnerable to predators.

KRIS 6 News reporter Naidy Escobar tested it out for herself.

After she downloaded the app she was asked to provide her name and age.

The information did not have to be verified, and then gave her the option to add a school and a schedule.

When she selected a class, she was able to see the names of students and teachers for each subject.

According to the company, since the app first launched in 2018, security methods have been recently updated.

To be able to see other people’s schedules or use the chat feature, a user would have to provide a school email and verify it.

Britney Straub, a mother of two and former high-school teacher said that, like with just about anything on the internet, parents should be cautious.

She said every app or social media platform has its pros and cons, but prioritizing a child’s security is important.

“A lot of the times parents have no idea what's the newest thing or what is out there that could possibly be a problem, and then something will happen, and then they are like I had no idea this app even existed. So stay knowledgeable,” she said.

And although her sons are young, she said internet safety is definitely something she will teach them one day.

Straub recommended parents always have an open communication with their kids and establish trust with them.