Online blackmail education resource for 15-18 year olds

Online blackmail is an education resource which aims to help young people identify key characteristics of how blackmail manifests online, understand the impact it can have, and how they access help if they experience it.

The term ‘online blackmail’ is used to refer to the act of threatening to share information about an individual (including sexual images or videos) to the public, or their friends and family, unless a demand is met.

Anyone can be targeted by online blackmailers, but as young people begin to become more financially independent, this can be a point of vulnerability which offenders seek to exploit.

Our Online blackmail resource has been informed by the latest research, intelligence from the NCA, and engagement with young people and professionals.

Online blackmail has been awarded the PSHE Association Quality Mark, demonstrating that it supports safe and effective teaching practice and meets the PSHE Association’s ‘ten principles of effective PSHE education’.

The one-hour Online blackmail session can be delivered in schools, colleges, youth groups and other educational settings.

What young people will learn

Online blackmail, like all forms of online child sexual abuse, can manifest in different ways. As such, the session helps learners recognise the early signs of manipulative, pressurising and threatening behaviour, and identify different people and organisations that can provide help if they need it.

By the end of the session, learners will be able to:

  • Explain what online blackmail is
  • Describe the impact blackmail may have
  • Identify some controlling and manipulative behaviours online
  • Explain how to get help, and the different people and organisations who can provide support with problems young people face online.

Our approach

Like all CEOP Education resources, Online blackmail has been developed on the basis of our six values for safe, effective online safety education.

  1. Safeguarding first.
  2. Approach from the perspective of the child.
  3. Promote dialogue and understanding.
  4. Empower and enable children.
  5. Never frighten or scare-monger.
  6. Challenge victim-blaming attitudes.

If you are interested in learning more about the evidence base for this and similar approaches, we recommend you read the research report ‘Key Principles of Effective Preventative Education’, downloadable from

Asset list

1 x Online blackmail resource pack, including session plan and worksheets

1 x Online blackmail session slides