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Are you aware of the alarming increase in sextortion cases and teen suicides caused by this malicious activity? Sextortionists spare no one, regardless of age and gender. As such, it is crucial to protect yourself while browsing the internet. This blog will dive into sextortion motives and tactics and provide sextortion prevention tips so you can stay safe online!
You should know how this predicament transpired if you find yourself here. However, it may cause you to wonder how this person could quickly manipulate you into sending private information about yourself. Learning how sextortion works and cybercriminals operate is beneficial, from protecting yourself from further harm to implementing a more robust online safety strategy. So, let’s get into sextortionists and their methods.
There are many reasons why sextortion happens. It can be someone vengeful seeking revenge on a loved one, an online predator waiting to groom an unsuspecting victim, or someone willing to burn bridges to get to the top of the company. However, we will focus today on cyber criminals who conduct sextortion like an enterprise.
Sextortion happens when cybercriminals worldwide band together in groups that form companies. Like any other company, the goal is to construct a strategy and generate mass amounts of money. That strategy consists of creating alluring and attractive social media and dating profiles that will catch the eye of anyone who comes across them or interacts with them. It is a ploy so that once these criminals reach out to dozens of accounts, their chances of receiving responses are higher rather than having no interaction.
Sextortionists typically reach out to dozens of accounts hoping to have some reply, but that doesn’t mean they don’t scout for specific targets. When looking for their next victim, these criminals will look at a victim’s profile under a microscope. Their ideal victim is someone who seems vulnerable, lonely, wealthy (although it typically doesn’t matter if you have funds), or naïve. It’s not difficult to sniff out these characteristics from a profile or a few back-and-forth conversations.
Once they’ve received a response or have a target in sight, they will either take two routes. One route is sending out a friendly message and taking the time to get to know their victim. They will devote ample time to lowering their victims’ walls to get them to share intimate details, allowing a better shot at manipulating and pressuring their victims to send private images or videos of themselves. Or they may take the second route and use sex and temptation to get their victims to share content. Sexting isn’t unusual in today’s culture; therefore, the chances of a victim sending nude content to an attractive person who has already shared theirs are very high.
In the end, as soon as a victim caves and sends sexual content, they will receive threats of exposure and promises of their reputation’s demise. That is when scare tactics come into play, and the sextortionist uses fear to push and pressure their victim into paying their demands. They will persuade their victims to believe they will bring shame to their loved ones if their content becomes public.
They threaten to contact their place of work, social groups, school, and more to scare their victims into submission. Ultimately, these scare tactics force many victims into silence, isolation, and caving into their blackmailer’s demands.
Knowing how much time, effort, and strategy goes into this scam, you can see why it is easy to fall victim. That is why sextortion prevention is cardinal to avoid the emotional, psychological, and financial terror linked to this crime. Here are some tips for protecting yourself from internet sextortion.
Ensuring your privacy settings are up-to-date and robust is vital to preventing scams. Sextortionists love using information they find on their victims’ profiles. Therefore, avoid posting sensitive information such as your phone number, workplace, etc.
If you receive suspicious messages from someone you don’t know, who seems suspicious or aggressive with their interest in you, don’t engage with them. Avoid replying to their message and delete and block them. The internet consists of bots and scams, so any inkling of suspicion, ignore it and keep it moving.
Sharing sexual images or videos of yourself online is never a smart move. The internet is a haven for criminals and individuals with malicious intent. No matter how tempting it may be, if someone is asking you for sexual content, block and report their account immediately. Don’t take any chances with your safety!
It’s important to note that hacking can also result in sextortion. If you receive messages that consist of links, avoid clicking them at all costs. It is another tactic online blackmailers use to access your device and private information. Once clicked, the link is embedded with malware, allowing the hacker to take over your device and everything in it, including your nude content.
The internet provides a platform for people to bond over shared interests but poses a risk when connecting with strangers. That’s why it’s crucial to prioritize your privacy and safety online. Be wary of suspicious behavior and inappropriate content requests. Additionally, never click on unfamiliar links, as internet sextortion is becoming increasingly common and cunning. Now that you know how sextortion prevention works, you can be cautious and protect yourself while socializing online!
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