Sexting: Stay Out of Trouble
October 31, 2016•28 min
How private are those saucy messages and photos you're sharing?You probably know someone who has been involved in sexting. It can start innocently enough but might escalate to messages or videos that can be troublesome. Sexting has been linked to intimate partner violence. Sharing those saucy or explicit images or messages can make you vulnerable. Why is sexting a bad idea? First, recognize your sexts are not private. Anything that goes over a cellular network can be subpoenaed. The government has the ability to keep records of any communication that is sent electronically. Snapchat is not immune to storage. Second, the person who is asking you to send sexts is probably not a good guy. Studies show that men who engage in sexting are more likely to be violent. Complaints come into the Orange County (California) Sheriff’s Department frequently that sext content is being shared publicly. Your intended audience is probably sitting with a buddy when texting. You must assume it’s not being kept private. If you share your information online, keep in mind that it will be available in the future. Be sure you won’t be embarrassed about what you’re posting in ten years. Apple offers end-to-end encryption so they don’t have access to the actual content of messages. But, this doesn’t guarantee that your sexts are private. Screen shots may be shared when your relationship ends. There are criminal and civil penalties for sharing sexting content, depending on the state laws. The problem is that it’s happening so often that the guilty sharer will probably get away with it. This frequently happens to girls in junior high school. Young ladies are going through body changes and dealing with esteem issues. These girls are sharing photos of their bodies for acceptance from love interests and are vulnerable to future online abuse as a result of these images. There are parental controls to help you keep your daughter safe by monitoring websites and hours of cell phone use. Lay down boundaries for texting by defining what’s allowed and what might be provocative and damaging. Turn on tracking on phones. Be sure your child knows that a cell phone is a privilege and not a right. Establish boundaries in the beginning so you don’t have to backpedal. Keep the sexts coy so they wouldn’t make you do more than blush if they appeared online. Subtlety is sexy. Do not send pictures and video. Exes can be vengeful jackasses. The person who is must likely to hurt you with these images is the recipient. Delete these images yourself. Listen in as tech expert David Sparks shares what you should know to protect yourself from the dangers of sexting.