Sexting Increasing Among Under-16s

Following the news of sexting increasing among under-16s, here to comment on this news is David Emm, principal security researcher at Kaspersky Lab.

David Emm, principal security researcher at Kaspersky Lab

The news of sexting increasing among under-16s highlights the need to educate younger generations, as part of sex education in schools, on the importance of keeping personal information private. The dangers of oversharing information aren’t always obvious, and young people mustn’t adopt a false sense of security when posting information online.

With the rise in teenagers accessing new types of technology, such as dating apps, comes the need for them to exercise their own vigilance to help protect themselves, as unfortunately not all sites implement good security. We would recommend educating younger people on the risks which accompany these types of sites, such as the fact that once something is posted it’s public forever; which means they should always think twice before sharing private information in these very public ways. A good rule of thumb is that if you wouldn’t publish something on the front page of a newspaper, don’t post it online or trust it to an app.

But more than this, online or offline, meeting strangers will always have inherent risks. As such, it pays to ask teenagers to take the same precautions when arranging a real-world meeting with an online date as they would in ‘real life’ – for instance they wouldn’t arrange to meet a real life date down a dark alley having told no one where they were going. Whilst taking such precautions might not make them totally safe, it limits their exposure to risk.
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