Do you believe there are people in the world who are unconcerned about their reputation? It’s possible, but it’ll be a small minority. Some criminals are well aware of this, leading to criminal practices such as sextortion.
While this is nothing new, prior to the massive expansion of the Internet, these events took place more or less locally. But these days, ransomware of this type can search for possible victims from anywhere in the world.
Let us work together to find a way to prepare so that you do not become a victim.
What is Internet sextortion?
Sextortion is the third most popular type of cybercrime. A term used to describe a type of attempted sexual blackmail. This could be a threat to post intimate photos of the person on the Internet as a form of coercion to do something, such as pay a ransom.
With our obsession with documenting oneself rising, this straightforward habit is becoming more and more well-known. Through social media, we document our lives, and communication is quite simple. We have many tales to share with our loved ones. Scammers typically engage people in conversation on social media, using profiles they have created for that purpose.
What strategies do cybercriminals use?
This crime can start on any site, app, or game where people meet and interact. In some cases, the blackmailer may claim to have explicit material to share.
This information can be obtained in several ways.
- by Email. In this case, there is a risk that sexually explicit content will be made public through email.
- through social networks. The widespread use of social media plays a role in the following scenario. The blackmailer forces the victim to send naked images, strip naked in front of the camera, or comply with any other sexual request. This information will be used to blackmail later.
- via hacked accounts: In this case, it is someone who has materials that the person has uploaded or saved on social media or chat apps.
Your personal content belongs solely to you. Sharing photos, videos, or messages of an intimate nature without your consent is considered a violation of Instagram policies.
Ways of protection
How to protect yourself from instagram sextortion:
- report abuse on Instagram. You can report a profile or a post, or a message. The offender will not receive a notification about this. Perhaps we can take action.
- you are not by yourself. People who find themselves in this situation may be frightened, overwhelmed, or depressed. If you are struggling and have thoughts of hurting yourself, seek support. Don’t waste time.
- seek help from professionals. Get support for general issues related to non-consensual intimate photos in your area, or use the resources below.
Even though sextortion is more common, it still affects a minority. However, here are some simple guidelines to keep in mind:
- don’t chat with strangers requesting video calls or cybersex;
- don’t download any apps or files from people you don’t know;
- delete any suspicious SMS or emails;
- remember if your webcam was hacked, you provided volunteer material, or if it was found on stolen equipment, it’s not your fault.
If you are a teen in this situation with a stranger, you should tell an adult you trust about it. And if you’re a parent, find an opportunity to talk to your child about what sexting can lead to. If you are confident that they will not be able to obtain any of your private information, the only option available to them is to use a bogus technology. But more often than not, ransomware uses a less sophisticated way to put pressure on its victims — they simply send out threatening emails. Psychologists advise not to be led by scammers. Even if you pay the criminal, he is unlikely to leave you alone — blackmail usually intensifies.
Complete security does not exist, but you should pay attention to the following recommendations:
- be selective about the information you post online. If the social media account is available to everyone, ransomware can easily use the data for their purposes.
- pay attention to all new subscribers. A good option is to block or ignore messages from strangers.
- consider the fact that people can pretend. Images do not prove that a person is who they claim to be.
- you should be alerted to the communication that started in the game or application if followed by a request to switch to another platform.
- you should always keep in mind that any content created on the Internet, be it a text message, photo or video, can be shared. And once submitted, you have no control over the movement of personal information.
Be very careful with easy online dating, they very often end in material problems and other troubles.