Smartphones and Sextortion

The dictionary defines sextortion as the practice of extorting money or sexual favors from someone by threatening to reveal evidence of their sexual activity. In today’s online world, sextortion has become a serious crime that occurs when someone threatens to distribute your private and sensitive material if you don’t provide them with images of a sexual nature, or sexual favors. Recently, the FBI has sounded the alarm about what has been called an explosive increase in teenage boys being targeted online and sextorted after being tricked into sending sexually explicit pictures. Most of the victims have been between the ages of fourteen and seventeen, with some as young as ten years old being targeted. Parents, don’t put a smartphone in the hands of a child or young teen. Be sure your kids know not to talk to strangers online. Let them know that they should report any suspicious messages to you. Finally, let them know that taking, sending, or viewing nudes is wrong.