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8 ways to protect yourself from webcam blackmailers

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8:41am 6th June 2017
(Updated 6:00pm 6th June 2017)

Police in North Yorkshire have warned members of the public to avoid putting themselves at risk of becoming a victim of sextortion - where people are persuaded to perform a sexual act in front of a webcam, which is then recorded and used as blackmail.

Here are eight simple rules you can live by to help prevent yourself from becoming a victim:

  • If using Skype, be alert to the fact that 'contacts' are not always who they say they are. If you allow a relationship to develop, be guarded if unusual requests are made of you.
  • If you use online chat rooms looking for a person to chat with, be careful about any relationship that you form and in particular if you are asked to transfer to Skype.
  • Some online chat rooms have a visual contact facility, so if you are looking for a person to chat with and allow a relationship to form, be guarded on what you say and do.
  • Relationships are quick to develop. End any that you are not comfortable with - stay in control of what you do.
  • Only activate your camera when you want to. Make sure it is 'off' at all times when not required.
  • Never allow yourself to be duped into activity that you will later regret.
  • If you make a mistake, you have doubts or you need support or advice - contact the police or a support agency immediately.
  • Remember what goes on the internet stays on the internet - forever.
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