Saying no to sextortion
Shinjini Saha, INN/Gwalior, @Infodeaofficial
One may hear extensively about extortion, but sextortion is an emerging form of crime. One can say the emergence of internet and its ever-increasing usage gave way to many new ways of doing nefarious things. Needless to say, sextortion is one of them.
Sextortion or sexual blackmail is an emerging form of online abuse. It is the threat to expose sexually naked images in order to make a person do something. These threats come from both strangers who met online and once intimate romantic partners attempting to harass, embarrass and control victims.
Sextortion consists of a threat to reveal intimate information about a victim unless the victim pays money to the extrorer. Information might include snippets of sexual text messages (sexts), intimate photos and videos.
The crooks typically demand money, but sometimes they’re more compromising material – send more or I’ll expose you. In this digital age, this abuse has proliferated, with perpetrators targeting women and girls throughout the country, and around the world. Online victims are often targeted on platforms on which the victims are frequent.
Sextortion is mostly happening to kids and teens. The teenage years are a time for figuring out how to find and cultivate new kinds of relationships. Perpetrators seize control of personal information and images on victims’ computers or deceivingly befriend victims on social media, and gain their trust.
Victims are often then coerced to submit to sex or create and/or share sexually explicit images under the threat of exposing private, intimate, or embarrassing information or images.
The harms to victims from this sex abuse are real and long-lasting. Sextortion can have a devastating impact on victims, and it can happen to anyone.
You can stop it before it starts by helping to increase awareness about sextortion, destigmatize the issue, and encourage individuals to reach out for help and support their friends.
The perpetrators may hack accounts to try worming their way into a potential victims favor and get her to send incriminating material directly. The next step is threatening to make the info public. Victims obey. They are often ashamed and afraid of public condemnation, and asking for help means reveling secrets they are desperate to keep.
And teens are very vulnerable. Sextortion can lead to serious psychological trauma or even suicide attempts. Understand that anything you share online can be made public. It could be published by hackers or trusted recipient. Chatting with strangers arms up the risk. Practice good cybersecurity. Use strong passwords and two-factor authentication to help protect your social networks, messaging programs and e-mail.