It's illegal Don't take or send nude or sexually suggestive photos of yourself or anyone else.
If you do, even if they're of you or you pass along someone else's - you could be charged with producing or distributing child sexual abuse imagery.
Non-legal consequences Then there's the emotional (and reputation) damage that can come from having intimate photos of yourself go to a friend who can become an ex-friend and send it to everyone you know.
Not only can they be sent around; they can be distributed and archived online for people to search for pretty much forever.
Not just on phones Sexting can be done on any media-sharing device or technology - including email and the Web.
Teens have been convicted of distribution of child sexual abuse imagery for emailing sexually explicit photos to each other.
Many causes In some cases, kids are responding to peer pressure in a form of cyberbullying or pressure from a boyfriend or girlfriend (they break up, and sometimes those photos get sent around out of revenge).
Sometimes it's impulsive behavior, flirting, or even blackmail. The bottom line Stay alert when using digital media.
People aren't always who they seem to be, even in real life, and sometimes they change and do mean things.
Critical thinking about what we upload as well as download is the best protection.
What to do We're not in a position to provide legal advice, but we can tell you that laws vary from state to state, each jurisdiction enforces the law differently, and the applicable laws were written before sexting was "invented." With sexting, the same minor can be both perpetrator and victim when producing and sending photos of him or herself - a very tricky situation under current laws.
Viral vixen: It only took a few photos and an alarming breach of trust for Vanessa Hudgens to unwittingly shed her Disney image.
Since then though, she’s bounced back with roles in edgier fare like Spring Breakers. It is a portmanteau of the words “sex” and “texting,” which pretty much explains itself already.