How sexting has become a common issue for school children

Help your children stay safe online as term begins


As children head back to school across the UK Internet Matters have compiled an online safety guide with useful tips and advice on keeping your child safe online. One of the major issues the guide address is sexting which is an increasingly common issue that can affect your child at school.

What is sexting?

The term 'sexting' is used to describe the sending and receiving of sexually explicit photos, messages and video clips, by text, email or posting them on social networking sites. It's increasingly done by young people who send images and messages to their friends, partners, or even strangers they meet online.

What do I need to know about sexting?

There are many reasons why a young person might get involved in sexting. Exploring sex and relationships is a natural part of adolescence. Young people often feel that they love and trust their partner and want to express their sexual feelings.

Sometimes they might be put under pressure to either take pictures of themselves or pass on those taken by others. They may want to please a demanding boyfriend or girlfriend, or do what they think everyone else is doing. Or they may have been talked into it by an adult or someone they've met online.

As children have no control over how and where images and messages might be shared online by other people, sexting can leave them vulnerable to bullying, humiliation and embarrassment, or even to blackmail.

Find out more about the consequences of sexting, read advice on how to talk about sexting with your children and discover how to deal with situations surrounding sexting on the Internet Matters website or download the complete online safety guide for parents with children heading back to school this autumn.