Sextortion is when someone pressures you into providing sexually explicit images or nude photos of yourself and threatens vengeance or harm if you do not comply. This type of coercion and predatory behavior is a crime.
Sextortion has become a widespread problem which experts believe is largely due to the increase in smartphones and social media. Young girls are said to be exceptionally vulnerable to these types of online predators.
Sites like Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and even Skype have been used to pressure teens into sending nude photos. The predator will initially befriend the victim on social media, then cunningly entice them to send nude images. Once the sexual images are sent, they will threaten to show the teen’s parents or post the photos publicly if they do not continue to comply and do whatever they want.
So what can you do to avoid this kind of online threat?
1. Keep your online profile settings set to private.
2. Never accept friend requests or respond to messages from people you do not know.
3. Never, under any circumstance, take or share nude photos of yourself. Ever!
4. If you ever feel threatened or unsafe, contact a trusted adult or the police immediately.
5. Educate your friends and peers about the threat of Sextortion.
6. Report any suspicious behavior that you may notice to the proper authorities.
7. Trust your gut. If something or someone makes you feel uneasy, avoid those situations or people.
8. Be aware of manipulation. These predators will say and do anything in order to get you to comply. If you can discern what the person’s TRUE motive is, you will not be so easily manipulated by them.