Last week Coronado SAFE and The Soroptimist Club to teamed up to host a Coffee Talk on Online Trafficking presented by Officer Grace Del Bagno and an officer from the San Diego County Human Trafficking Task Force.
San Diego is identified as the top 13 high-intensity child prostitution areas. While the average age of entry for commercial sexual exploitation is 16 years old, according to the San Diego County District Attorney. In the age of social media coupled with the strain of social isolation and online distance learning, youth are more vulnerable than ever to online trafficking. Coronado youth are not immune which is why it was important for the community to come together to discuss this issue.
In case you missed it, here are three practical takeaways from the presentation:
Watch Out for Red Flags
A few indicators of trafficking include: truancy, luxury items, tattoos or branding, multiple accounts on the same social media platform, sexually provocative pictures on phone and cell phone, unexplained injuries, drastic change in clothing or presentation, isolation from friends and family when they start dating someone, changes in behavior, tired a lot, etc.
Don’t Make these Mistakes on Social Media:
Discuss with your child safety precautions. Some mistakes include: using real/full names, showing birth dates and where they live, advertising school names and sports, lying about age to use a website or application, click bait accessing online advertising inappropriate for children, friending strangers, not using privacy settings, posting pictures they wouldn’t want their parents or grandparents to see, and not thinking twice about sending messages or posting.
Parents need to make their own decisions on how to best protect their child online while also protecting the parent-child relationship. Officer Grace Del Bagno said, “Some families may be comfortable monitoring their child’s online usage through tracking apps.” The presentation included monitoring app suggestions such as, Net Nanny, Qustodio, Mama Bear, Our Pact, or Kaspersky Safe Kids (see image for descriptions of each app). No matter what route parents take, trust and open communication is a key component of online safety.
We know parenting in the digital-age can be challenging, but you don’t have to do it alone. Coronado SAFE has access to the tools, resources, and industry professionals you need to navigate the ever-changing landscape of parenting and adolescence. Find out more at CoronadoSAFE.org. While you’re there, sign up for our e-newsletter and don’t forget to register for the next Coffee Talk on March 22, “How to Talk to Your Kids About Drugs.”
Stay connected on social media @CoronadoSAFE.