Sextortion and how to protect our kids online

Future Smart Parent

Mar 16 2023 • 28 mins

Sextortion might sound like the name of a really bad movie, but in fact it’s a lot more serious than that and it’s affecting all of our kids online.

Essentially “sextortion” is a crime, classified as cyber extortion under the South African cyber laws, and occurs when predators blackmail our children into sending them sexual or nude pictures and videos. This is obviously child pornography, which is a criminal offence, and these predators need to be caught.

This might be scary, but as parents we cannot bury our heads in the sand and pretend it doesn’t exist. And we definitely cannot just say “Oh, but not my kids… My kids would never do that.”

Because as much as we say that children shouldn’t be taking and sharing nude images of themselves, the predators who are engaging with them are exerting an extreme level of power over our kids and are coercing them into doing such things. Our children are victims. So yes, it could happen to your kid.

That’s why this topic is so important for parents to be aware of and to prepare ourselves and our kids to deal with. It’s happening on all social media platforms. Predators will lurk in social media and gaming apps, such as Snapchat, Instagram, TikTok and Discord.

They will follow your kids, message them and then move to more private apps like Whatsapp, where they will send unsolicited nude images and coerce your children to reciprocate, leading to your children being blackmailed and threatened for sexual favours or money, once your child has sent them photos or videos of themselves.

So let’s be cautious with our kids online. Put protections into place as much as possible and really engage with our children often so that they know that we are a safe place for them to come, if something like this ever happens.

If something like this does happen to your kids, make sure that there are screenshots of the conversations (on the social media platforms and on Whatsapp), as this counts as evidence to the police. And then, before blocking the predator, send this simple message:

I have spoken to my parents. They are reporting it to the police for investigation because you are in possession of child pornography.”

Although the predator might try to contact your child in another way, this simple message can deter them or slow them down (as they are often preying on multiple children at one time).

Settings to keep your kids safer:

For more info you can sign up for our 90-minute workshop on how to keep your kids safer and saner online for just $37 here:

You can also book a device advice consultation with Kate from Be in Touch, if you’re finding this all too overwhelming.

Connect with Kate and Be In Touch:


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