Online Dangers: Sexting and Sextortion
What is sexting?
Sexting is when your child creates, sends or shares sexual messages, images or videos with friends, people they know or even strangers online. Older kids may think it is harmless, especially with someone they know or like, but once an image is sent, it is out of their control and it can end up hurting them or someone else.
What is sextortion?
Sextortion is a type of blackmail where someone threatens to send a sexual image or video of your child to friends, family or other people if they don't provide more sexual content, pay them or do what they ask.
What you can do
The most important thing is to be aware and to talk openly and regularly with your child:
- Let them know you are available to talk any time
- Understand they may be hesitant to share with you
- Use real life examples they can relate to that aren't about them
- Talk about online safety, privacy, establishing boundaries, healthy relationships and consent
- Talk to them about not giving in to pressure and breaking off communication if they feel threatened or uncomfortable
- Tell them it's always okay to come to you or another safe adult, even if they think they've made a mistake
- Tell them about resources like Cybertip.ca and NeedHelpNow.ca in case they are worried and do not want to come to you
Watch with your kids
An animated video for youth that introduces the topics of sexting and sextortion, and gives high-level advice.
Learn more about Online Dangers
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