Warning Signs To Look Out For
What is Sexting?
Sexting is the act of sending sexually explicit text messages or photographs through mobile phones. The term was first published in 2005 in the Sunday Telegraph Magazine and has come about as a result of advances in technology which enable new forms of social interaction. Sexting primarily occurs on mobile and other hand-held devices via a variety of chat platforms but can also occurs online on social media websites for the public to view.
“Sexting leads to other ways of misusing other technology applications, manifesting in harmful behavior such as cyberbullying, sexual harassment and blackmail. Such harmful behavior can have significant impact on the victim and can be far more detrimental, in particular to his/her emotional and psychological well-being,” a spokesman from the Be Smart Online project explained.
Be upfront and ask your kids directly if they are sending sexually explicit text messages or photos of themselves with their phones. If they don’t want to talk about it, or seem to be hiding something, there is a good chance they either have engaged in sexting, or may consider doing so in the future.
Is your child extremely protective of their cell phone? Do they like to send their messages from the privacy of their bedroom, behind closed doors? Such secretive cell phone use is an indicator that your teen may be engaging in sexting.
You are well within your parental rights to view what your children send out in their text messages. Use the parental controls offered by your cell phone provider or through paid apps to monitor outgoing text messages and images. Check your teen’s Facebook account to see the type of messages being shared by your kids and their friends.