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Discussing Sextortion with Your Teen: A Guide to Starting the Conversation

Discussing Sextortion with Your Teen: A Guide to Starting the Conversation

As the digital age has become even more prevalent in our lives, teens must be aware of the new risks that come along with it. Teen Sextortion is one gravitating risk that can result in significant consequences. In light of recent threats and cases, we have created a guide to help parents talk to teens about sextortion. Awareness is power and by understanding all aspects of the matter, teens can have access to the knowledge necessary to protect themselves from this cyber-crime.

What Is Sextortion?

Internet Sextortion is a serious issue that affects many teens today. It occurs when someone gets a hold of your private pictures and threatens to share them with others unless you comply with their demands. This is a form of blackmail and can be very distressing for victims. With the advancement of technology, sextortion has become more prevalent, making it important for teens to know how to protect themselves.

Internet Safety Tips for Teens

Internet safety is important for teens because it helps protect them from potential harm or danger online. Teens are particularly vulnerable to online risks such as cyberbullying, identity theft, and online predators. They may also be at risk of sharing personal information, such as their address or phone number, with strangers, which could lead to real-world dangers. Below listed are some tips for internet safety:

  1. Use strong and unique passwords for all online accounts.
  2. Be careful when sharing personal information online, such as your full name, address, phone number, and email address.
  3. Don’t accept friend requests from strangers on social media.
  4. Be aware of phishing scams and never click on links from unknown sources.
  5. Don’t post anything online that you wouldn’t want your parents, teachers, or future employers to see.
  6. Keep your privacy settings on social media accounts set to the highest level.
  7. Be mindful of what you share on social media, such as your location and plans for the future.
  8. Be aware of cyberbullying and report any incidents to a trusted adult or school counselor.
  9. Use anti-virus software and keep it updated to protect your computer and personal information.

Getting the conversation about sextortion started with your teen:

Bringing up the topic of Sextortion with your teen can be a challenge for any parent no matter how close you and your teen are. We have listed some conversation starters below to help you get the ball rolling.

Conversation Starters

  • “How do you know if the person you’re speaking with is who they say they are?” This is a way to gauge your teen’s awareness online and It’s important to make sure they know whom they are communicating with. it’s easy for people to pretend to be someone else and your teen needs to know how to verify the identity of the person they are communicating with. This includes being aware of red flags such as someone refusing to video chat or meet in person, pressure to share personal information or requests for money.
  • “Does online behavior differ from real-life behavior?” In many cases, teens and young adults are not aware that their online behavior can negatively influence their real-life lives. It’s important to educate them on how their actions online can have real-life consequences and how to make safe and responsible choices in the digital world.
  • “I want to talk to you about how to be safe online. Can you tell me about the types of things you share on social media or with your friends?” The next step is to discuss the dangers of posting sexually explicit images and videos on the internet. Let your teen know that once something is shared online, it can be difficult to control who sees it and that it can be used as a weapon against them. By explaining sextortion is a type of online exploitation in which someone threatens to share sexually explicit images or videos of a person unless they comply with certain demands. It’s a serious crime that can have long-lasting effects on the victim’s mental and emotional well-being.

The purpose of these questions is to get the conversation going so that you can protect your teens. Awareness is our strongest defense against these online crimes.


The dangers posed by sextortion are real and need not be taken lightly; understanding how sextortion works and how you can protect yourself is key to preventing it from happening in the first place.

If you or your teen is facing a sextortion problem get help right away. Report the crime to the FBI Crimes Complaint Center. You can also report the crime here with Digital Forensics. Stay safe out there!

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