Advice on Sexting, Sextortion and Revenge Porn

  • The safest way to avoid a picture getting into the wrong hands is to never take it, allow it to be taken, or share it. Sadly, there are cases (sometimes called “revenge porn”) where someone shares pictures meant only for them — sometimes after a breakup.
  • Never take and send an image of yourself because you were pressured, even from someone you care about.
  • If there is an inappropriate sexual image of you online, see if you can get it taken down. Many apps and services will remove such images upon request
  • If someone sends you a sexual image, do not share, post or forward it. It’s a violation of trust and you could be breaking the law. If it’s an image of a minor, you could be committing a very serious crime. If the image isn’t meant for you or you feel it’s inappropriate or possibly illegal, delete it from your devices and any online storage.
  • If a stranger (or possibly even someone you know) asks you to take a revealing picture, it could be a scam that could lead to further demands and threats (“sextortion”). Do not respond and consider reporting it to the police and, if it involves a person under 18, the CyberTipLine (800) 843-5678). It could be a criminal who has exploited other people so you’re helping others by alerting authorities.
  • If someone does post, distribute or threaten to distribute nude, intimate or sexually explicit images of you without your permission, consider contacting law enforcement or an attorney. Many states have laws specifically designed to prosecute “revenge porn” cases and to protect and compensate victims.
  • Consider contacting a victim hotline or advocacy service such as the Cyber Civil Rights Initiative or the National Organization for Victim Assistance. If a minor is a victim, contact the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.
  • If a minor (person under 18) is depicted in the image, it could be considered “child pornography,” which can be a very serious crime, especially if an adult is involved or if there is any type of coercion.

Resources:

ConnectSafely’s Tips for Dealing with Teen Sexting

ConnectSafely’s FAQ on Sexting and Sextortion

How to Stop from Being a Victim of Revenge Porn (from DCMA.COM)

Helpful Tips for Victims of Revenge Porn (from Ridder, Costa and Johnstone, LLP)

Revenge Porn FAQ (from End Revenge Porn)

You Sent a Sext Now What (from NetSmartz from National Center for Missing & Exploited Children)

Are You Sure You Know Who You’re Talking to Online? (from NetSmartz from National Center for Missing & Exploited Children)

 Articles

Responding to revenge porn: Challenges to online legal impunity (Dr Michael Salter & Associate Professor Thomas Crofts)

Revenge Porn and the Purge trend on Instagram and Twitter (Sameer Hindjula, Cyberbullying Research Center)

ConnectSafely Tips and FAQs

FAQ on ‘Sexting’ and ‘Sextortion’

Tips for Dealing with Teen Sexting

Tips for Strong, Secure Passwords

More tips from ConnectSafely

Organizations and resources

National Network to End Domestic Violence

End Revenge Porn

Cyber Civil Rights Initiative (Providing counseling and technical advice to victims of nonconsensual pornography)