Tips on how to stay safe online during the COVID-19 pandemic

Someone is threatening to share my nudes

Is someone threatening to share a nude image or video of you?

Image-based abuse

If someone shares or threatens to share a nude image or video of you when you don’t want them to, this is called image-based abuse. Maybe they are being mean, or they want to hurt you for breaking up with them. Whatever the reason, it is never OK. See My nudes have been shared for more information and help.

Common types of image-based abuse

One type of image-based abuse is sextortion. This is when the person who threatens to share a nude of you is demanding more nudes or money, or is trying to make you stay in a relationship with them. It is a form of blackmail.

Here are some examples of sextortion: 

  • Someone you used to date threatens to share your nude images with other people or post them online unless you get back together with them.
  • You accept a friend request from someone and things get flirty. They threaten to share nudes that you’ve sent them unless you send them money or more nudes.
  • You receive an email in which someone claims they have hacked into your accounts or devices and have nudes of you. The person threatens to send the nudes to all your contacts unless you pay them money. This is a scam and they are trying to panic or scare you into doing what they say.

What to do

Remember, it is never OK 

If someone threatens to share a nude image or video of you, it is against the law. If it is someone you know, tell them it is not OK, if you feel safe doing that. 

If it is someone you don’t know, don’t respond. 

Don’t give into their threats

If they are demanding more nudes or money don’t give in to them, even if they get very aggressive with their threats. It is never a good idea to give them what they want because they will probably just keep asking for more. It is important you stop all contact with them right away.

Stay calm

If someone shares a nude image or video of you, or threatens to do it, try to stay calm. 

Talk to an adult you trust, such as a parent, a support service like Kids Helpline or another counselling service.

Screenshot evidence 

Take screenshots of the threats and accounts involved because this evidence will help if you decide to make a report to eSafety or the police. For more information read our advice on collecting evidence.

Report and block 

If someone has threatened to share your nudes, you can make an image-based abuse report to eSafety. You can make a report no matter how old you are – and if you prefer you can get a friend or trusted adult to help you fill out the report form. Our team is here to help. 

Threatening to post or share nude images or videos without someone’s consent is against the guidelines of most social media services. So, if you prefer to report to the social media service yourself you can find reporting links and other useful info in the eSafety Guide.

Then you can block their account to stop them contacting you. See how to do this in the eSafety Guide

How to avoid sextortion

Remember live streaming can be recorded 

Remember, live streaming can be recorded at the other end. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that it is less risky than sending nudes. 

Look out for scams

Be wary of people who you have only met online and who ask you for nudes or “Sexy Skypes”. Scammers can be very convincing and sometimes use hi-tech tricks to make you think they are someone they are not. 

If you get a message or email from someone you don’t know who claims to have hacked your device or account and threatens to release private images, be aware it may be a scam. They might even use one of your current or former passwords to trick you into thinking it’s real.

Don’t respond to these scams. You can check Scamwatch or Stay Smart Online to find out more about current scams. You can also read our blog on sextortion scams

Review your privacy settings 

Review your privacy settings so you are in control of who can see your online information.  

Use strong passwords and change them regularly to help protect your personal information. Use 2-factor authentication wherever possible to secure your accounts.

For more info on how to protect your personal information in individual social media services, apps and games, see the eSafety Guide.