Cybercrimes are some of the most common crimes committed, especially against children, say Indiana State Police.
In a video to families, Superintendent Doug Carter of Indiana State Police said parents should be monitoring kids’ online presence.
“Please take a look at your kids’ phones. Who are they talking to? What social media applications do they have access to? Have you noticed any changes in their behavior? You have the power to root out these individuals,” Carter said.
More and more cases are popping up of children falling victim to “sextortion”, where cyber criminals will manipulate kids into sending them sexual images, and them using those images to blackmail them into sending even more.
“It’s usually fairly benign at first, but, once they have that, they keep using it to manipulate you into sending more and more,” said Doug Kouns, who leads the private security firm Veracity.
Kouns tells WISH-TV that the first step towards protecting your child from sextortion is to simply talk to them about it.
“Opening the lines of communication is the biggest thing,” Kouns said. “Having some awkward conversations and letting them know the dangers that once you send something out there, it’s out there forever.”
He added that other children and teenagers can be just as guilty of sextortion as adults.