Red Deer RCMP are warning about the dangers of sharing nude images online after investigating two reports of sextortion.
RCMP said last week officers have investigated two reports involving youths who shared intimate images online and were then extorted for money to prevent the distribution of those images.
Police encourage adults to talk to their kids about the dangers of sextortion and the potential consequences of communicating online.
“We understand it may be an uncomfortable conversation, but it’s an important one to have with your children,” said RCMP Cpl. Mike Evans in a statement.
“Unfortunately, once those images are sent, you have lost control of those pictures and may be distributed to other people; it is very difficult to have them removed.”
Police said children need to know they can go to a safe, trusted adult to report to talk to about online activity.
To stay safe online police recommend:
• Do not accept friend requests on social media from unknown people.
• Do not share or send intimate images of yourself with anyone – if you aren’t okay with the whole world seeing it, do not send it.
• Use privacy settings on social media and keep personal information to a minimum.
• Trust your instincts, if anything about an interaction makes you feel uncomfortable, end the conversation immediately.
Parents can also support their children by:
• Making online activity part of regular conversations.
• Working with your children on how to behave safely online from a young age.
• Encouraging teens to take breaks away from devices.
• Be open about online behaviour.
Victims of online crime should:
• Stop communicating with the person immediately.
• Do not comply with the threat, do not send money or additional images.
• Keep the correspondence.
• Make a report to your local police.