Sexting is the words ‘sex’ and ‘texting’ mixed together. It is when sexual, rude, naked or inappropriate photos or videos are shared on mobiles phones or online. These photos or videos usually involve one person sending images of their private parts or themselves doing rude actions.

It is against the law to send, receive or look at a ‘sext’ when any of the people involved are under the age of 18. Here are some ways to help prevent your child from engaging in sexting:
 
•  Encourage them to think before they post. Ask prompting questions such as ‘Who might be able to see these photos?’, ‘Will this photo offend anyone?’ and ‘What are you trying to achieve by sending these photos?’
 
• Tell them how hard it is to remove an image from the internet once it’s been posted, and acknowledge that once it’s online, strangers can use the image in whatever situation they like.
 
• Teach your child that taking, having or sending sexually explicit photos of underage people – including of themselves – is illegal, and that once the police take over the case, there’s not much you can do to help them. Prevention is better than cure.
 
• In a non-threatening way, learn more about what they do and who they speak to online.
 
• Let them know that the lines of communication are open if they would like to speak with you about other issues that may be pushing them to send offensive or explicit images.

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