There is a new cyber-crime that parents and teens need to be concerned about – Sextortion. This horrendous crime has been reported recently in several newspapers and the numbers are increasing. Sextortion is when a teen or tween is blackmailed to perform sexual acts or to produce sexually explicit images of themselves by being coerced because the perpetrator obtained sexting photos sent or posted on social media sites or from the victim’s participation in a webcam sexual activity or simply online sexual blackmail. Typically, young people become victims as a result of taking nude photos and sending them to friends who then share the photos with others.
This is the latest phenomenon affecting teens and tweens and Federal Prosecutors say it’s on the rise. There have been many cases reported and in a few of the cases, many of the victims committed suicide. It has been reported that universities across the country are a fertile ground for these cases, in particular, with sorority pledges. However, cases of Sextortion are also on the rise with high school teens and even tweens.
Therefore, it’s important that parents are aware of this form of blackmail and talk to their children about how to prevent this from happening to them. Young people can protect themselves by following the same rules for basic Internet safety and parents should teach their kids to:
1. Never take a nude or semi-nude photo of themselves.
2. Be careful whom they share their Facebook and other social network information with – a friend today can be an enemy tomorrow.
3. Keep all their information posted online private.
4. Don’t share information with strangers or someone they just met.
5. Be careful whom they interact with on their webcam.
6. Tell their parents if something inappropriate happens.
Learn more about this in Sextortion: New Online Crime With Devastating Effects.