Sexting may seem like a harmless way to flirt, but there are actually some pretty serious privacy concerns--and legal risks.

Sexting may seem like a harmless way to flirt, but there are actually some pretty serious privacy concerns–and legal risks.

Sexting has become more and more a part of our social networking world. Sexting is the act of sending sexually explicit messages and photos, primarily between mobile devices. While sexting has become more popular over the years and sounds appealing to some, the consequences of sending those types of messages can be damaging.

Sending nude photos over the internet or mobile device is never 100% private, nor safe and may be illegal. In fact, in some states if you are an underage individual that is caught sending nude photos to someone else, you could be tried and convicted for the distribution of child pornography, which is a very serious crime. Even if you trust your partner and believe they will not share your photo, sometimes accidents happen or someone may stumble upon it. Please do not risk it.

Sexting do’s and don’ts

  • DO use your words. Sending flirty text messages is still risky, but not as embarrassing (or illegal!) as sending pictures. Plus, apps like Kik add an extra amount of anonymity.
  • If you are going to send nude photos, DO NOT include your face or any other identifiable markers (birthmarks, moles, tattoos, etc.).
  • DO keep your clothes on–photos can be flirty without being too revealing.
  • DO NOT give out your personal information to someone you met online.
  • DO double check that you are sending the texts or pictures to the right person.
  • DO NOT rely on photo or messaging apps to protect your privacy. Photos uploaded to the internet are there forever (even if you can’t see them), hackers can get into anything these days and even “anonymous” messages can be traced back to you.

Ways to reply if you’re uncomfortable sending a nude picture to someone:

  • “I am not comfortable with that. What if someone gets ahold of your phone and accidentally sees it? It is just too risky.”
  • “My parents go through my phone.”
  • “I respect myself too much to send any nude photos.”
  • “If the pictures get out we can both get into trouble.”
  • “Use your imagination to visualize how I look.”

If they understand and accept that you don’t want to send naked pictures, it’s a sign they respect and care for you. If your significant other still pushes you, then maybe you should re-evaluate the relationships. Nobody is worth you compromising yourself.