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Parents Beware: Online Sextortion

Parents Beware: Online Sextortion

Sextortion is one of those scary things every parent hopes will never happen to their kids. But in fact, to be lured into the trap of online predator is much easier than you may think. Carelessness is considered to be the main reason of sharing lewd photos online. But it is not completely true. Many kids share inappropriate photos to protect themselves against pressure and blackmail.

What the Sextortion is?

Sextortion is relatively new form of sexual exploitation. Unlike sexting and flirting online, sextortion is a criminal act, repeatedly committed by sexual offenders. By now there are two main forms of sextortion which includes:

1) Online harassment to get sexually explicit photos or videos from their targets;

2) Threats to share sexually explicit photos on the Internet if the victim doesn’t send either money or more nude photos.

The sextortion statistics is disappointing:

  • 71% of sextortion victims are under the age of 18;
  • 78% of victims are girls;
  • in comparison to girls, only 15% of boys are involved in sextortion;

Sextortion Cases

  • Lucas Michael Chansler, 30-year-old man from Florida got a life sentence for producing and sharing child pornography. He sexually extorted nearly 359 teens from the USA, Canada and the UK.
  • 28-year-old man was arrested after continuous sexual exploitation of the 15-year-old girl. Finally, the police were called after the man asked a girl to perform oral sex on her 13-year old brother.
  • 27-year-old man from Florida got a life sentence for harassing hundreds of girls online. He had more than 80,000 images of them on his computer.
  • Patrick Connolly and Ivory Dickerson managed to victimize more than 3,800 kids. With the help of a malware, they controlled the computers of their victims remotely. What’s more, they sent disgusting lustful pictures of themselves. Ivory got a life sentence, while Patrick was sentenced to 30 years in prison.

Sextortion: how to prevent it?

Sextortion is a serious problem, which may completely destroy a child. The main reason why sexting occurs is the complete absence of barriers on the Net. In the world of fake profiles and online deception it is very easy for kids to be manipulated. In order to minimize risks of sextortion, follow our guide created especially for parents and kids.

Sextortion prevention: guide for parents:

  • Have a conversation with your child

Have a serious conversation with your child about the dangers they may face online. Explain what consequences the communication with strangers may have, as well as sending photos or engaging in the risky conversations. Ensure that your child knows that it is never okay to share nude pictures with anyone online. To protect your child, it is important to educate your child about the sextortion and explain what intends those who extort minors have. Let your kids understand that they can always get your support and protection no matter what may happen.

  • Employ security measures

Make sure your kids have strong passwords and have regular software updates. Teach them never open attachments and links from unknown people, which can have viruses or malware to break into their computer. Use sufficient anti-viruses to protect their computers from malware attacks.

  • Monitor your kid’s devices

Kids don’t have analytical thinking; it is the main reason why they take everything on the Internet at the face value. That’s why it is important to supervise kid`s smartphone or computer usage. In this case mSpy is the best option. It provides reliable monitoring solutions both for phones and desktops, giving an opportunity to monitor calls, text messages, apps and browsing history.

Sextortion prevention: guide or kids:

  • Never engage in conversations with strangers online;
  • Never share nude or semi-nude photos to anyone, no matter who they are or what they are saying;
  • Turn the computer off when you don’t use it;
  • Close the webcam when you don’t use it;
  • Never follow the links or open the attachments unless you are sure they are safe;
  • If you receive sextortion threats or any request to send compromising photos or videos inform your parents and the police.
  • If you know somebody who became a victim of sextortion, persuade the victim to tell parents and the police.

Parenting a child in the era of smartphones may bring a lot of difficult challenges. As the number of sextortion incidents drastically increases, it is very important to keep an eye on your child, be attentive to the warning signs, frequently have a conversation with your child on online safety and monitor their online activity.

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