8/15/2023 -- Getting back to school is an excellent time to check in on the apps our kids are using. Recently, a dad’s post about the Saturn app went viral nationally. The Saturn app allows kids to manage and share their school schedules with other classmates. They can also share photos and other media with friends and people they connect with through the app.
Like thousands of other apps out there, Saturn poses a number of risks that should be discussed with our kids. Anytime a child starts using a new app, it’s good to discuss with them:
How they protect personal information. We as parents need to help our kids understand the value of their personal information. Apps like Saturn collect email addresses, school schedules, phone numbers, location information, photos and contacts. It’s important that our kids know that in addition to the financial value their personal information has for app makers and advertisers, it also has value to predators and bullies that would seek to do them harm.
Not everyone is a friend. There are almost no apps that can provide an environment where children are safe from predators or bullies. This is because anyone can pretend to be whoever they would like to be in an app. Currently, it is very easy for any adult to set up a Saturn account and pretend to be a student to access another child's personal information. It is important when our kids use any social media app that they understand the potential for someone to not be who they say they are and the dangers of connecting with someone they do not know in real life.
If you need help talking to your child about online safety and app usage, check out the resources below:
Common Sense Media: We believe in media that inspires and entertains families of all kinds. In technology that protects privacy and supports communities. In learning tools that prepare students and teachers for success in a connected world. Discover how we're working to make the digital world better for kids and families.
Be Internet Awesome To make the most of the Internet, kids need to be prepared to make smart decisions. Be Internet Awesome teaches kids the fundamentals of digital citizenship and safety so they can explore the online world with confidence.