Sexting

  • BE ADVISED:  Anyone taking photos or possessing nude photos of children under the age of 18, can be arrested for possessing child pornography, and be mandated to register as a sex offender.  Anyone 18 and over who is, or has been, charged with child pornography, will have great difficulty getting a job or securing housing.  

    Never take inappropriate, sexually explicit photos on your phones.  They can never be deleted permanently.  Photos shared with others are subject to eventual viewing by law enforcement and potential employers.  (Spokane Valley Police Chief Rick VanLeuven, GVSN meeting, November 2015)

  • "Sexting is the new flirting," as stated by a psychologist.
Teens are using photo vault apps to hide scandalous pictures.  The vault apps have been around for years.  Some are free and overt like the Private Photo app in the iTunes store.  Other apps are designed to disguise their true function by appearing to be a calculator, but entering the correct password reveals a cache of hidden photos and videos.
Teens Be Advised:  Children can face felony child pornography charges for collecting and trading nude photos of themselves and other teens.  In addition, they could face charges that cause them to register as sex offenders.  Teens need to realize that just because an app has the word secret or vault in it, doesn't always mean it is secure.  Once you let something out of your hands, whether it is sending a text message or photo to someone, even if you have your copy locked away, the recipient can certainly share it; and you never know where your content is going to go.

Parents Be Advised:  If you are on a family plan, your phone can send ALERTS to you anytime your child downloads a new app, allowing you to monitor what they might be doing.  Teens and children will always be more text savvy than their parents, no matter what the generation.  Parents need to be vigilant on this.  

(Source:  "The Sexting Epidemic - What kids are using to hide inappropriate images," CBS This Morning, November 9, 2015)
Additional Resources
Internet Safety 101
Making the Internet Safer for Children and Families
Learn about pornography, Sexting, Predators, Social media dangers, Online gaming, Cyberbullying, and more.
http://www.internetsafety101.org/grooming.htm