WASHINGTON (DC News Now) — With the back-to-school season around the corner, some parents are focused on making sure their children have safe online tools to succeed.
A new app, Saturn, helps students to easily track their class schedules and to connect with other students. Although the app may sound helpful, some parents are worried about its privacy and safety.
Chris Cullum said his daughter asked to sign up for the app, which is why he signed up around Aug. 9 to see how the app works. But after using it, he said he had some concerns about the app’s safety features.
“I was able to make a profile using just a number,” Cullum said.
He later made a social media post highlighting his concerns, which went viral in Arkansas and parts of the DMV.
“I was just a 41-year-old man using the Saturn app to gain access to 350 new friends,” he said in the post.
Following the viral post, the app updated its safety policies on Aug. 13 and then again on Aug. 17.
“Moving forward, if someone attempts to sign up as a student and our systems flag them as a potential non-student, we will force them to go through an enhanced verification flow, which includes school email verification,” the company said in a statement.
“It’s certainly encouraging that the app developer was able to make some changes to protect kids all over the nation,” Cullum said.
Cullum, who has a background in information technology, advised parents to “be intentional” with their kids’ online presence.