Never Send Private Photos


Instantly sharing photos is one of the best things about online technology. Being able to see what your friends and family are up to - when it's happening, wherever they are in the world - is amazing.

It's as easy as shoot and send. One click and it's out there.

That's why you should never send private photos - whether it's you pulling a stupid stunt or posing with your gear off - because it's only one click before it's public.

It might seem like a laugh at the time, or a good way to get someone's attention. You might even look really great in the shot, but sending a private photo can become very unfunny very quickly.

Once you send a digital image it's out of your control.

Having it forwarded to your friends would be bad enough, but if it ends up on a public site it could haunt you for a very long time.

The good news is that you control your private images while they're still private. That first click is your decision.

Before you hit send – to a phone or a site – take another look at the photo and ask if you'd be happy for your parents or a teacher to see it.

If the answer is no, delete the photo. Send something funny instead, like a picture of your big toe with a smiley face, or a link to a video from YouTube.

Laughter's a great thing to share. Your private moments? Not so much.

Picture This...

It's a really great photo – you never thought you could look so hot. The way you're looking at the camera, it's like a photo from a magazine. "Check it out, baby. FYEO. WYWH. xoxo" And you send it. He loves it. He loves you. You can't believe your luck!

And neither can his sister.

Ever since he broke up with her best friend, she's been out to get you. And here it is – his phone on his bed with the photo of you on it.

He always deletes the sexy shots you send him – you've checked his phone to make sure – but this time, before he gets back, she sends it to her phone and the first person she sends it to is his ex. By the next morning everyone at school who's got the photo is sending to everyone who hasn't.

You had to tell your parents what happened – that was torture, but at least now they know why you've been so upset.

They came with you to tell the Year 10 coordinator, and although the year level assembly was the most embarrassing thing ever, it's kind of better having it out in the open – it was all out there anyway.

They asked everyone to delete the photo and pointed out that if the person in the photo is under 16, it is legally considered child pornography. That got most of them scared.

But you know it's still out there somewhere, because the other day on the tram, a group of St George's boys called out, "Check it out, baby." They thought they were so funny. You thought you were going to be sick.

Your mum keeps telling you it will eventually die down, that people will move on before you know it, but it's awful to know that photo of you is out there somewhere and you have no idea who's looking at it.


Below the Belt: Sex, Selfies & Cyberbullying
A free Android app with info about laws on sex and consent, sexting and cyberbullying.

ESafety - Sexting
The Federal Government's eSafety website looks at the issues associated with sexting.

A video made by the UK organisation CEOP (Child Exploitation & Online Protection Centre) on what can happen when a private photo becomes public.


Helpful site full of tips on how to stay in control on the web.

eheadspace is a confidential, free and secure space where young people 12 - 25 or their family can chat, email or speak on the phone with a qualified youth mental health professional.

If you or someone you know need someone to talk to, for any reason, about anything, you can call Lifeline on 13 11 14 - 24 hours a day.

Kids Helpline - 1800 55 1800
Kids Helpline is a free, 24-hour counselling service for young people aged 5-25 years. Counselling is offered by phone, email and over the web.

An Australian film about a group of high-school friends who post a rumour about a rival and spark a chain reaction that leaves no one untouched. Will these friends avoid being tagged forever?

A Thin Line
A US site that helps you draw the line between digital use and digital abuse.

That's Not Cool
An interactive site from the US that’s all about where you draw your digital line.