“The basic framework of the extortionist’s scheme was as cold as it was calculated: contact a young girl on a social networking site using a fake identity, gain her trust, extract some highly personal information, and then threaten to expose her intimate exchanges if she doesn’t assent to escalating demands for sexually explicit pictures or videos.”
Don’t Let It Happen to You
Here are a few precautions that can keep you from being victimized by “sextortion”:
– Don’t take for granted that your computer’s anti-virus software is a guarantee against intrusions.
– Turn off your computer when you aren’t using it.
– Cover your webcam when not in use.
– Don’t open attachments without independently verifying that they were sent from someone you know.
– It’s okay to be suspicious. If you receive a message with an attachment from your mother at 3 a.m., maybe the message is not really from your mother.
– If your computer has been compromised and you are receiving extortion threats, don’t be afraid to talk to your parents or to call law enforcement.
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