Q & A
I opened an email which had some pretty nasty pics in it – the person who sent it is now telling me what I did was illegal and that I’m going to get arrested if I don’t do as they tell me. What do I do?
They are trying to blackmail you and use you, so you should ignore the threats. The truth is you won’t get into trouble with the police for reporting this, but the person doing it will be in lots of trouble for trying to blackmail you.
Try and save any information about the person contacting you and then make a report to CEOP. Talk to a trusted adult about this and ask them to help you make the report.
What is grooming?
Some adults want to have sex with children and young people. ‘Grooming’ is the way in which they try to build a relationship with a young person to get them to think that it’s ok to have sex with them. Grooming is also how they make young people feel like the abuse is their fault. It is never their fault.
Grooming happens in different ways – for example, they might get a young person to think that they are their boyfriend or girlfriend, or they might threaten them and try to force them to have sex with them. It can be hard to spot grooming, particularly online, but you can find out some of the signs here. Remember, you should never feel under pressure to have sex and it is against the law for an adult to have a sexual relationship with a young person.
I sent a naked picture of myself to someone I met online and they said they’d send it to all my friends if I don’t send them more. What can I do?
Firstly, do not send any more pictures. Unfortunately sending more pictures is not going to make them leave you alone. If they are threatening you, or trying to bully you into sending pictures then they are committing a serious crime and the best thing to do is get help. Learn more about it here.
- If they are making you feel guilty so you don’t do anything about it – remember, they will be the ones that get in trouble over this, not you.
- If you can, save the conversations you’ve had with them and take notes of any personal details that could help identify them e.g. online names etc.
- Talk to a trusted adult, and get them to help you make a report to CEOP
I’ve heard someone say webcams can be hacked, is that true?
It’s not very common but yes, if a computer has downloaded malware there’s a risk that things like webcams could be controlled by another computer. This is known as ratting.
Pop ups and some other types of adverts can install malware on a computer without you knowing- this type of issue is commonly reported where people have visited certain websites, such as porn sites.
You can find advice on blocking pop-ups and other adverts here.
How can I get a video of me taken off YouTube?
You can watch this short film on YouTube which tells you the steps you need to take to get that video removed.