Security extends to our schools, district and surrounding community physical security, BSD families are also encouraged to familiarize themselves with current events and best practices related to web security. The FBI recently shared a web safety topic that may affect students. The FBI, in partnership with Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC), released a statement. National Public Safety Alert Regarding the explosion in incidents of children and adolescents being sent online explicit images and extorted for money – a crime known as financial sexual abuse. It has been reported that over 3,000 minor victims were targeted last year across the United States.
According to the FBI, “Through deception, predators persuade the young person to produce an explicit video or photo. Once predators have acquired the images, they threaten to release compromising material, unless the victim sends money or a gift card. Often predators demand payment through a variety of peer-to-peer payment applications. However, in many cases, the predators will release the images even after the payment has been made. The shame, fear, and confusion that victims feel when they are caught in this cycle often keeps them from seeking help or reporting the abuse.”
BSD has also been made aware of similar issues affecting our sector. In some cases, extortionists have used false identities to attempt to gain access to personal information on social media and persuaded minors to send them explicit pictures – or pictures that are not explicit but Can be changed to look like this. Extortionists may threaten to “ruin the life” of their victims by publishing any sensitive information they obtain in order to influence their victims to pay them with money or gift cards.
Tips to Prevent Cyber Crime
- Here are some safety measures that students, families and employees can take to protect themselves from cybercrime:
- Do not add or accept any social media connection unless you are absolutely sure that you already know who it is.
- Don’t open a message or click on a link from an email address or name you don’t know. Delete it immediately.
- Do not send any information or pictures to any unknown person through social media.
- Understand that every action taken on social media, and online in general, leaves a digital footprint. This digital footprint can always be accessed, even if the images “disappear” on some platforms.
- Understand that any image of a nude/partially nude minor that is shared with or viewed by another person – regardless of intent – may legally be considered child pornography.
reporting cyber crime
Any attempted extortion and/or other cyber crimes should be reported to local law enforcement, the FBI Internet Crime Complaint Center, as well as the security/privacy portals of social media platforms involved in:
Cybercrime incidents and the aftermath can be extremely distressing for students and their families and disruptive to the school environment. Please encourage open and honest communication with your students and be aware of any changes in behavior, including: signs of depression, Counselors are also available to assist students who have concerns, feelings of anxiety, or would like to talk with a trusted adult.