NCMEC's access to millions of CyberTipline reports uniquely positions us to spot developing trends in online threats to children. One of these trends is "online enticement". Online enticement is a broad category of online exploitation, including sextortion, in which a child is being groomed to:
- take sexually explicit images and/or
- ultimately meet face-to-face with someone for sexual purposes, or
- engage in sexual conversations online
This type of of exploitation took place across all platform types; social media, messaging apps, gaming platforms, etc. Learn more about the online enticement of children.
Though child sexual abuse images make up the majority of CyberTipline reports, there is a growing number of reports being made about “sextortion”: a relatively new form of sexual exploitation that occurs primarily online and in which coercion and blackmail are used to acquire sexual content (like photos or videos) of a minor, to extort the child for money, or to meet to engage in sex with the child. Learn more.
In some cases, children are blackmailed using images they initially sent willingly. Talk to your teens about the risks of sending "sexts". Unsure how? NCMEC's online safety program, NetSmartz, has conversation starters, videos, and other activities to encourage kids to be safer online.
Download the "Tips to Prevent Sexting: For Parents" Tip Sheet!
Child Sexual Abuse Images
The internet is an incredibly useful and integral part of modern life. However, with over 28 million reports made to the CyberTipline since 1998, we are all too aware that the internet is a tool that can be maliciously co-opted.
Consistently, the overwhelming majority of reports made to the CyberTipline each year are regarding child sexual abuse images. In 2002, NCMEC launched the Child Victim Identification Program in order to track which victims had been previously identified by law enforcement.