More than half of parents haven’t spoken to their children about the risks of sexting, according to a new survey from the NSPCC.
This figure is up on the statistics from Warwickshire’s Cyber Crime Survey (2015), which found that nearly one third of local parents have neither applied online restrictions nor spoken to their children about internet safety.
The NSPCC survey found that while two out of five parents fear their children will be involved in sexting, half of them do not know it’s illegal for a child to take nude selfies.
However, almost all 1,000 parents interviewed said they saw sexting as harmful – with a quarter saying their main concern was about their child losing control of a nude image of themselves.
What exactly is sexting?
“Sexting” is the exchange of self-generated sexually explicit images, through mobile picture messages or webcams over the internet. Young people may also call it cybersex, or sending a nudie or selfie. Most young people don’t see sexting as a problem and are reluctant to talk to adults about it because they are afraid of being judged or having their phones taken away.
Advice from the NSPCC if your child is sexting
- Stay calm and try not to get angry with the young person
- Ask who the image has been sent to and where it has been shared
- Encourage them to delete images from their phone or own social media accounts
- Contact the site hosting the images of your child if they have been posted by someone else
- Suggest your child contacts Childline, who can work with the Internet Watch Foundation to try and get images removed if they’ve been shared more widely
- Discuss issues of consent and trust in healthy relationships or friendships
More information on this topic, including the opinion of Psychologist Emma Kenny, can be found in this Good Morning Britain article.
For more information about our work, please visit www.safeinwarwickshire.com/cybercrime
Be Cyber Streetwise is a cross-government campaign, funded by the National Cyber Security Programme. They aim to measurably and significantly improve the online safety behaviour and confidence of consumers and small businesses (SMEs).
Get Safe Online is the UK’s leading source of factual and easy-to-understand information on online safety. Their website offers advice on how you can protect yourself, your computers and devices, and your business against the likes of fraud, identity theft, viruses and other potential online problems.