WHAT EVERY PARENT SHOULD KNOW ABOUT “SEXTING”
As your youngsters grow into their teens (and sometimes before), a new danger emerges on the Internet. It’s called “sexting” and this troubling trend involves sending sexually explicit messages and/or photos of nude or semi-nude teens electronically. This can be accomplished via cell phones or over the Internet. Photos are often taken by the person appearing in the photo and are intended to be seen by a specific person. But with today’s technology, they often reach far beyond those meant to share them.
The trouble with “sexting”:
Because photos can be distributed widely, sexting can ruin reputations and limit one’s ability to get into college, join the military or get a desired job.
Sexting can result in anxiety and depression.
It is a crime. Federal law prohibits possessing, distributing or taking sexually explicit images of anyone under the age of 18. State laws may vary, but sexting may lead to jail time and to teens being labeled as sex offenders.
Information sent via cell phone will be available for as long as 30 to 50 years.
What can parents and guardians do about “sexting”?
Talk to your children about the dangers of sexting.
Set rules and consequences for breaking them.
Be aware of what your children are posting publicly.
Know who they’re communicating with.
Learn how to use their cell phones.
Be aware of sexting shortcuts and acronyms.
What to tell your children about “sexting”:
Anything you send or post WILL NOT GO AWAY.
Nothing you send or post will remain private. You may intend it to go to one person, but it could be forwarded to others without your knowledge.
You risk jail time as well as being labeled a sex offender.
You don’t have to give in to pressure from others to do something that makes you UNCOMFORTABLE.
Friends who care about you won’t want you to get into trouble by sexting.
For more information and tips, visit our web site at www.lincolncountysheriff.net and on your Smartphone via the “MobilePatrol” app and Like us on Facebook at Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office – Oregon.