Survey: One in five Czech teens who sext have their photos or videos misused

According to a Median survey commissioned by internet security firm ESET and the Czech Police, every seventh Czech minor over the age of 12 has sent someone a photograph or video of their intimate parts. However, often this material can be misused, the authors say. I spoke to ESET’s Vladimíra Žáčková.

“According to our study, about 18 percent of the content shared by teenagers was misused.

“The pictures of young girls were misused more often and girls are also more often the ones being blackmailed that someone will publish their pictures.

“In the case of boys these pictures are mostly used for bullying.”

Do we know what the common reasons are behind teenagers sexting?

“Usually people sext in a romantic relationship or when they flirt, but among teenagers this is not usually the primary motivation.

“28 percent of teenagers sext just for fun, or just because they want to provoke some sort of reaction from their peers.

“Unfortunately, 13 percent of teenagers said that someone had manipulated them into sending intimate pictures.”

The Median study also looked into the sexting phenomenon among adults. How common is sexting among this group and how does it compare with sexting among minors?

Illustrative photo: ghcassel,  Pixabay,  Pixabay License

“Adults sext more than teenagers. About 33 percent of respondents from the adult group said that they have sent a picture of this sort sometime in their life.

“The content shared by adults is not misused as often as among teenagers. Also, the motivation behind sexting among adults is different.

“Usually, they sext when they are in long-term relationships, because they want to please their partner.

“As I mentioned before, teenagers more often sext just for fun or without any erotic intention.

“Adults also usually don’t regret sending these pictures, whereas 35 percent of teenagers do.”

You survey focused on Czechia. Do you have any data to compare these results with countries abroad and, if so, how substantial a phenomenon is it in this country?

“We didn’t compare the results yet, because the Czech study is a pilot for ESET and we will only continue with the study in other countries next year.

Illustrative photo: geralt,  Pixabay,  Pixabay License

“However, we can say that the sexting phenomenon is quite common in other countries as well. Czech society is not exceptional in this respect.”

This survey was also commissioned by the Czech Police. What was their reaction to the results?

“The Czech Police were expecting these results, because they work with cases of sextortion, which is connected to the misuse of these intimate photographs, especially among young people.

“They were not surprised and they know how to work with sextortion victims.”

ESET is an internet security focused company, so do you have any tips for our listeners on how to avoid problems that may result from sexting, apart from not sexting in the first place?

“If you already decide you want to share intimate pictures or videos, the one basic rule is to send them anonymously.

“That means nobody should recognise you in the picture or the video.

“The person should not show their face or any identifiers such as a tattoo, birthmark, or something in the background of the picture. This can be for example the view from the window of one’s room, or a section of your face in the mirror or computer screen.

“All of these things can lead to your identification and easier blackmail in case the video or picture is leaked.”

The Median survey was conducted from May 31 to June 12, 2022, with 1083 respondents taking part. Half of them were children between the ages of 12 to 17 and the other half were people aged 18 or over.