Did you know that San Diego is one of the largest sex trafficking cities in the nation? Further, people involved in sex trafficking and adults who prey on children use the internet as a way to entice youth. Unfortunately, predators know exactly what they are doing and how to reel our kids in through the use of social media. The San Diego Moms Blog wants you to be informed and aware. We want you to be on the look out and know what to watch out for to keep your children and teenagers safe. We are our children’s protectors! However, to be the ultimate protectors, we must know who and what to watch for in social media!
Parents: Be vigilant!
1. Keep a close eye on your kid’s accounts.
2. Watch who follows them in social media and who attempts to communicate with them both online and off.
3. Do NOT be shy when it comes to your kids and teens! Be in their business!
4. Take your street smarts and use it in social media!
5. Stranger DANGER is REAL in social media!!!
6. Noone should EVER ask your children/teens for money to “invest in” or “help” them in any way. At all!
7. Adults should NEVER befriend a minor via social media! EVER. Has an adult contacted your youth? Put an end to this immediately!
8. It’s o.k. to BLOCK. Delete. Report. Do it!
9. If something doesn’t feel right, trust your instincts!
10. Predators WILL GROOM their victims. WATCH for this. Report!
11. Your child’s safety is priority. Not someone else’s ego, promises, nor likes.
12. I suggest all minors keep their accounts private.
13. Do not allow your kids, teens to post where they are at any time.
14. Teens love to promote their high school in their profiles. For safety reasons, encourage them not to.
16. Noone in social media should ask your kids/teens for their address, phone number for ANY. REASON.
17. Watch for social media account fluff. In other words: learn about follower, engagement ratios, begin to understand what’s real verses what’s being promised, look for real photos verses an account full of reposts and of other people’s pictures. People can make their accounts look enticing to kids and teens! Watch for this! People can make their accounts & photos seem like something it’s not if you aren’t aware. If in doubt: Block!!
18. AGAIN. PARENTS. KEEP YOUR EYES ON YOUR KIDS ACCOUNTS. THEIR FOLLOWERS. WHO’S CONTACTING THEM. HOW. AND WHY.
19. Be smart!!! We are powerful people with the ability to make powerful choices on behalf of ourselves and our kids.
National Center for Missing and Exploited Children: Cyber Tipline
National Center for Missing and Exploited Children: Child Safety and Prevention (Online Safety Tips!)
NetSmartz Workshops: Everything Parents, Teens, Tweens, Kids need to know about Internet Safety
1-800-THE-LOST: 24 Hour Hotline and Resource Center