Two-step password verification can seem like a pain—but it can protect you from more than someone hacking your Twitter account and spamming your friends. It’s also vital in the fight against sextortion, according to a new report by the Brookings Institution on the crime, in which someone uses a computer network to coerce another into making pornography or engaging in sexual activity.
It turns out young people are the most common victims—and basic lapses in cybersecurity can make them especially vulnerable to the predators targeting them.
For the report, titled, “Sextortion: Cybersecurity, teenagers, and remote sexual assault,” researchers scoured court dockets and news reports looking for instances of this crime. They found nearly 80 cases involving a suspected 3,000-plus victims—and that’s a conservative estimate. In the vast majority of these cases—71 percent—minors were exclusively targeted. The victims were predominantly female, and the perpetrators were all men.
It isn’t just female victims we’re talking about, though. In cases where minors were targeted—again, the vast majority of cases—17 percent featured male victims; and 10 percent of these underage cases involved both male and female victims. But when it comes to cases of adult sextortion, the victims are so overwhelmingly female that the report calls it “a species of violence against women.”
Another thing most of these cases have in common is that they are largely executed via social media. Typically, the perpetrator “tricks the victim into sending him the compromising pictures he then uses to extort more,” as the report puts it.
This article continues at [Vocativ] Why Teens Face A Growing Threat Of ‘Sextortion’