Estimated reading time: 2 minutes

In this guide, you will learn:

What is Sextortion?

Sextortion is a type of cyber attack where an attacker threatens to share embarrassing or intimate pictures or videos of another person unless you comply with their demands, which may include sending money or performing other actions.

Spotting a Sextortion Attempt

Are you concerned about sextortion? Here's how to protect yourself:

  • Caution with Unsolicited Messages: Be wary of unsolicited messages, particularly those requesting sexually explicit photos or videos.
  • Watch for Threats: Look out for messages threatening to expose embarrassing or intimate information to your friends, family, or the public.
  • Be Wary of Personal Info: Beware of messages containing personal information about you or someone you know, which could result from hacking or phishing attempts.
  • Avoid Suspicious Links and Attachments: Do not click links or open attachments in messages that ask for your interaction.
  • Claims of Law Enforcement Contact: Be cautious of messages claiming to have contacted law enforcement.

Risks of Responding to a Sextortion Attempt

Responding to a sextortion attempt can have serious consequences and put you at risk. By engaging with the attacker, you may inadvertently provide them with more information to manipulate or exploit you. It's crucial to understand that responding to such attempts could worsen the situation. Instead, seek help from trusted friends, family, or professionals, such as counselors or law enforcement agencies.

Preventing Sextortion

Protect yourself from sextortion with these proactive measures:

  • Stay Informed:Educate yourself about common sextortion tactics and stay updated on the latest threats.
  • Online Relationships: Exercise caution with online relationships, especially if they begin requesting intimate photos or videos.
  • Guard Your Information: Never share sensitive or confidential data, especially if you are unsure of the recipient's identity or intentions.
  • Beware of Suspicious Messages: Exercise caution with suspicious messages or requests, and avoid clicking on links or downloading software from unknown sources.
  • Strengthen Passwords: Create strong and unique passwords with Trend Micro Password Generator.
  • Implement Two-Factor Authentication: Add an extra layer of security to your online accounts.
  • Shield Your Email: Protect your email from scams with reliable antivirus software like Trend Micro Maximum Security.

What to Do if You're a Victim

If you suspect you've been a victim:

  1. Change your online account passwords immediately.
  2. Do not respond to extortion demands or make any payments.
  3. Report the incident to the appropriate authorities.
  4. Collect evidence, such as emails or messages.
  5. Seek support from trusted friends or counselors to cope with the emotional impact of the incident.

Avoid Sextortion Scams with Trend Micro

Trend Micro offers comprehensive protection against scams and social engineering attacks by thoroughly analyzing websites, emails, and messages.

Already Using Trend Micro?

Optimize your defense against sextortion and other online scams by following these guides:

Not Yet a Trend Micro User?

Install Trend Micro Maximum Security to prevent malware, fraud, phishing, email hacking, and other targeted attacks on your PC and online accounts.Extend this protection to your mobile devices with Trend Micro Mobile Security for Android and Trend Micro Mobile Security for iOS.

In an age of digital vulnerabilities, Trend Micro is your trusted guardian. Whether you're already a user or considering joining our community, we're here to ensure your digital world remains safe and secure. Protect your online life today!

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