POWAY, Calif. — Poway Unified School District is hosting a series of safety and security workshops to help keep children safe.
Monday’s summit meeting gave parents and students tips on how to change their settings and be wary of dangers.
Poway Unified educators warned parents the device in their child’s hand can easily become a danger.
“I can’t imagine not swiping and seeing my friend’s post or a story with a new song,” teenager Jasmine Tran said.
Many teenagers like Tran grew up with social media as a child.
The presenters at the Poway Unified School District say a recent study found 95% of teens use YouTube, while more than 60% use TikTok and Instagram.
“Especially with our younger kids, we want to make sure that they’re aware of that they may not be chatting with the person that they think they’re chatting with….Internet crime is the fastest growing crime in the U.S. and many young people are the fastest growing victims of internet crime,” one presenter said.
The presenters recommended parents should talk to their teens about the risks.
A recent survey displayed for parents found one in five teens were asked to do something sexual while one in three have clicked on unwanted pornography.
“Being a young teenager, I propose myself as a victim to onlookers who I don’t even know, you know, whether public or even private. I allow myself for people who I don’t even know to see who I am, where I am and that could cause a safety problem,” Tran said.
Presenters recommend parents should help teens change their privacy settings and ensure they don’t post personal information or post inappropriate content.
They warn teens not to trust strangers they meet online and never meet offline.
“Social media is a place to express yourself, but to also understand that there is another side and to always take that side very seriously, and if you ever feel a hint of doubt or fear or gut feeling, take that gut feeling because it is always better to be safe than sorry,” Tran said.
This comes as two local school districts, including Oceanside and Coronado, also recently filed suit against social media companies for creating a mental health crisis in students.