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. It’s important to be vigilant if you believe your child may be vulnerable to peer pressure – enforce technology rules and monitor their internet use, for example. If they still end up receiving an offensive image, here are some coping strategies to adopt:
 
• Teach them that if they see something that makes them uncomfortable, to immediately close the app, webpage or text.
 
• Teach them not to respond to inappropriate messages, texts or emails. 
 
• If what your child saw affects them (they continue mentioning it, for example), sit them down to discuss their feelings, then offer ways to focus on more positive contributions to their day.
 
• Reassure them that their internet and/or phone access won’t be limited if they talk to you about inappropriate content they saw or received.
 
• Remind them not to open emails that are sent from strangers or unfamiliar organisations.
 
• If the inappropriate content doesn’t stop, implement parental controls on your child’s devices. You will need to google instructions on how to do this for your child’s exact device.

• Report offensive content on the Office of the eSafety Commissioner's website.

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