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Police warn against people trying to procure sensitive images

Parents, guardians and children were warned about inappropriate online behaviour (File photograph)

Parents and schoolchildren were warned by police to be vigilant about the risk of strangers trying to access photographs inappropriately.

Guardians were encouraged to talk to youngsters about social media and to set rules about how accounts are used.

A Bermuda Police Service spokesman said: “Local residents, especially parents, guardians and school-aged children, are reminded to be vigilant regarding inappropriate online behaviour by unknown individuals who aim to obtain nude personal images on social media, through seemingly friendly conversation or outright coercion.”

Parents and guardians were urged to become familiar with the apps on their children’s devices and “scrutinise whether or not they should have access to any of those apps”.

The BPS spokesman reminded them that the legal minimum age for most social media applications was 13 and highlighted the importance of properly securing apps, including by the use of two-factor authentication.

He added: “Establish rules with your school-aged child or children, such as not allowing others to use their devices, or have access to their social media accounts.

“Talk to your school-aged children about the risks involved in communicating with any social media profile operated by a person they do not know.

"Use a social media application’s settings to report and block any social media profile that attempts to engage in inappropriate behaviour or makes threats.

"Make it clear that under no circumstances should a child capture or send nude images of themselves to anyone online.

“Reassure your school-aged children that they can confide in a trusted adult if anything occurs on social media that makes them feel uncomfortable.”

The spokesman said: “It should be noted that the BPS continues to investigate the recent social media circulation of a number of inappropriate altered images of local residents, including minors.”

Anyone with information related to the investigation was asked to phone Acting Detective Inspector Sharnita Tankard or Acting Detective Sergeant Ashun Wolffe on 247-1739, or to e-mail stankard@bps.bm or awolffe@bps.bm.

The spokesman added: “You may also call the non-emergency reporting number 211, the main police number 295-0011 or share the information with a police officer you know.”