Home LATEST NEWS HIGH TECH Almost 7 teens are sextorted on Snapchat every month

Almost 7 teens are sextorted on Snapchat every month

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That makes an average of 7 sextortion reports each month, a form of blackmail, specifies the Cyberaide.ca website.

A “sextorer” will threaten his victim in order to extract money or images of a sexual nature from him, explains René Morin, the French-speaking spokesperson for the Canadian Center for Child Protection (CCPE) in Winnipeg.

A proven tactic

Snapchat app allows sending photos, videos and live messages.

[C’est] an app that most teens have on their cell phones. […] Often, it is possible to send communications that are intended to be ephemeral. Some will send naughty photos there, photos which will be displayed for a few seconds and then disappear., explains Mr. Morin.

The sextorers use it to establish a first contact with their victims. They can take screenshots of the photos sent and then blackmail them, he adds.

The ploy is as follows: [Les sextorqueurs] will first become [l’ami de la victime]. They will send him a message that contains a clickable link that sends him to a page that […] will warn her that her password has been compromised.

The sextor can thus steal the personal information of the teenager and take control of the Snapchat account and threaten its victim with the aim of obtaining money or other intimate images, according to René Morin.

What to do to protect your child?

When this happens, René Morin recommends reporting the situation immediately to Cybertip.ca.

It is also necessary to avoid giving in to threats and cut off all communications that the victim has with [le sextorqueur]. Parents should also tell their kids to limit their followers to people they know in real life, he adds.

Don’t accept strangers [et] review your Snapchat account security settings to see who can get in touch with you are some of Mr. Morin’s tips for preventing sextortion.

A problem exacerbated by the pandemic

The phenomenon has been on the rise since the start of the pandemic. In September, the agency reported a 62% increase in reporting cases for the first half of 2021.

Young people spend a lot more time on their phones. […] The social life of teenagers has been even more linked to the Internet since the start of the pandemic, says Morin.

Reports of direct interactions for sexual purposes between adults and children have increased dramatically.

René Morin estimates that Cyberaide.ca receives 2,500 to 4,000 reports per month.

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