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Sexting

Texting sex message or having sex via texting is also known to teens as sexting. A popular trend since the last few years sexting is a common visible practice seen in most campuses and even classrooms. The term sexting also refers to taking or sending an explicit photo of oneself and forwarding it to friends or potential suitors.

The phenomena of sexting spreading rapidly and a survey by a teenage girls' magazine has found that 40 per cent of respondents had been asked to send sexual images of themselves. Half the bullying-related calls to the police can be attributed to cyber-bullying and sexting ranks high.

3G mobile phone technology helps upload image files directly to the internet is making sexting easier. One of the appeals of sexting is the ability to hide the behavior from parents. But teens don't understand that the message or pictures they send can be forwarded to thousands of unkown recipients.

Even though any image that depicts a minor in a sexual activity or indecent manner is considered child pornography, and anyone who passes on or receives those images is liable to face criminal charges. It's a felony for children under 18 to not only receive these pictures on their phone, but taking a photo and sending it could lead to pornography production and distribution charges.

Sexting is bound to increase. Girlfriend magazine survey has found that four in 10 readers had been asked to forward a nude photo of themselves.

Books on Sexting

AMTA’s sexting and cyber-bullying tips for teens

AMTA’s sexting and cyber-bullying tips for parents

Australian Mobile Telecommunications Association AMTA continues to widely promote the industry’s advice on sexting and cyberbullying noting in particular that the perceived level of anonymity is often central to how young people see sexting and cyberbullying. In reality perpetrators of cyberbullying need to know it is possible for them to be indentified and that their activities may be considered illegal.

According to Australian Mobile Telecommunications Association "“Sexting” is being treated as another manifestation of cyberbullying with the Victorian police reporting a rise in cyberbullying activities amongst teenagers including sexting."

Radar, My Mobile Watchdog, is a service that protects children from cyber bullying, sexting, predators, adult content, and other unsafe activities on their cell phone. Radar is designed for children ages 7 to 17. Radar is available online. www.mymobilewatchdog.com for more information.

Bob Lotter, CEO of Radar, My Mobile Watchdog, about the dangers of cell phone use among children:

Until Radar, there has been no solution to monitor cell phone usage, text messages, and surfing the net. Predators know this, thus we have epidemic-scale issues with cell phones becoming a favored communication method for child porn, sexting (children taking sexual pictures of themselves and others texting them), cyber bullying, sexting, and adult content. Predators know that the anonymity of the Internet is easily transferred to unmonitored phones and are moving from online communication to text messaging to further their goals.

Many times when kids are confronted for bullying another child, they will not own up to it. Even their parents may find the allegations unbelievable. Armed with a record from Radar, one can offer “evidence” directly to the principle, law enforcement, or the parent for immediate action. Since the phone is now the primary communication channel for children, Radar is an important tool in the detection and prevention of cyber bullying or sexting.

Since children are aware their phones are being monitored, Radar is not in violation of the law. Radar makes copies of all pictures, written text, and email messages and forwards them to the parent in real time. Call records are stamped with the date, time, phone number, and duration.