What is Sexting?

Sexting is a term which describes the sharing of intimate images of yourself with others using online technologies and social networking sites. It can often happen when your judgment is clouded (e.g. pressure from someone else, alcohol or drugs) and can result in you:
  • ​Sending accidentally
  • Being brave about a naughty photograph
  • Feeling sexually confident
  • Feeling less inhibited and less aware of risk and consequences
  • Doing it as a dare
  • Thinking that it is a good laugh and there is no harm in it 

Is it legal?

It is illegal, but the police have stated that young people should be treated as victims in the first instance and not usually face prosecution. The police's priority is those who priority is those who profit from sexual images of young people, not the victims.
So  if this has happened to you try not to panic. It is not the end of the world. It just needs some thought on how you can minimise the effect of your mistake.


Take control... 

If you posted it onto a social media site, then remove it as soon as you can.
  • If you sent it to someone else, you need to get in touch with them as soon as possible and ask the to delete it before it goes any further.
  • If you think it has been shared wider, too might want to turn to your friends for help. Your close friends will often be able to help you manage the situation
  • If the image is posted by someone else on a social media site then report it.


Check other places your image might be by searching for your name of username.

  • Use different search sites
  • Put your name in inverted commas ("Jane Smith") it's more accurate!
  • If you have a popular name, use an addition help word ("Jane Smith" + Croydon)
  • Bury the bad stuff:
    • Increase your positive online presence
    • Set up a blog and write a few posts
    • Make positive comments on online news articles and websites
    • Engage positively with your social networking site
    • Contribute positively to a few other different social networks especially Twitter which is public and open
    • Take control of what people can see
The more positive stuff you add, the further down the search lists the unwanted content will be. Our partners at the IWF and Childline are working together to help you remove sexting images. They won't judge you: they'll just help you.

Get in touch at . Sometimes it is impossible to delete everything online. You will feel more in control if you have planned what you will day if people ask you about it:

  • I've made a mistake
  • I've been really stupid
  • I've learnt by it
  • I've moved on 

 Information courtesy of SWGfL and UK Safer Internet Centre http://sw​
Someone sent me a message - what should I do?

If you have received a message DO NOT share the image. Tell a trusted adult who will help you deal with it. 



You can make an anonymous report here: