Archive How to Know If Your Teen Is Sexting

Prevent Teen Sexting: The Best Ways to Detect This Harmful Behavior

Rana Mazahernasab

Rana Mazahernasab

Table of contents:

    Sexting is all about sending or receiving sexual messages or images through digital devices. In the past few years, it has become more common among teenagers. This can be a concerning issue for parents who want to ensure their children’s safety and well-being. If you also sensed that your teenager might be involved in this action, there’s nothing to be worried about. Learning the essence of teen sexting, why teens might engage in it, and how to recognize the signs can help you address this sensitive topic with care and confidence.

    In this blog, we will explore the signs that your teen might be sexting and provide practical advice on how to start the conversation with them. So, let’s start with the signs you need to watch out for.


    What Are the Signs of Sexting in Teens?

    When your teenager sends sexual pictures and messages to others, there are a few signs you can look for. Recognizing these signs can help you identify if your teen is involved in this harmful action and prevent it early on.


    Secretive Behavior with Devices

    If your teen is used to sexting, they may become very protective of their phones or computers. They might quickly close screens, hide their devices when you walk into the room, or spend an unusual amount of time on their devices in private. To find out which app they may be using for sexual chats, learn about the risky sexting apps that are nowadays common to use. This way, you can know they’re sexting, when noticing one of the apps on their phones.


    Frequent Deletion of Messages

    If your teen regularly deletes text messages, photos, or social media conversations, it could be a sign they are hiding something. While some deletion is normal, doing it constantly may indicate sexting. To make sure they’re involved or not, you can use some simple ways to recover deleted messages on your child’s phone.


    Receiving Gifts or Money

    Here’s the fact: online predators promise gifts and money to teenagers and other vulnerable people to make them do different things. Therefore, if your teen suddenly has new items or extra cash without a clear explanation, it could be a sign that they are being groomed. They may be inappropriately rewarded for sending pictures, messages, and other risky behaviors online.


    Unexplained Data Usage

    Sexting is addictive, meaning that teens get tempted to do it more often, especially if they get rewarded. So, an increase in data usage on your teen’s phone could suggest they may be sending or receiving large files, such as photos or videos. Keep an eye on phone bills or data reports for any unusual spikes.


    Inappropriate Content Discovery

    Here’s another fact parents should know: teens are likely to watch porn, as they’re discovering more about relationships and their bodies. So, it’s likely to find inappropriate content on their phones that is not necessarily for sexting pictures. However, some photos and videos (like the ones taken in bed or with regular phone cameras) are signs of sexting. Make sure to regularly check the content on their devices, ensuring to do so respectfully and without breaching trust entirely.


    Defensiveness About Privacy

    While it’s normal for teens to want some privacy, extreme reactions can be a sign. Teenagers involved in sexting might become overly defensive about their right to privacy when asked about their online activity. For example, they may want you to leave the room and close the door when using their phones.


    a teen girl secretly using her phone at night for sexting


    What Are the Impacts of Sexting on Teenagers?

    Based on an article in 2019, sexting is more harmful for girls than for boys. The article also claims that both boys and girls engage in sexting to gain popularity and peer acceptance. While this motivation is similar for both genders, the outcomes differ. Boys often gain social capital and acceptance, while girls may face insults, rejection, and damage to their reputation, reflecting a sexual double standard.

    Another research suggests that sexting is linked to mental health issues like depression and anxiety in adolescents. They are always exposed to the risk of being online predator’s victims and be forced to do what they don’t want to. On the other hand, older teens who engage in consensual sexting without pressure don’t show the same negative mental health impacts.


    How to Stop Your Teen from Sexting?

    Your teenager now is at the most sensitive age, full of ups and downs. Therefore, it’s normal for them not to recognize the harms and risky behaviors. So, you, as a parent should take action and prevent sexting to protect your teens. First, try opening the conversation with them to talk about the action itself and the risks. It’s highly important to create a safe space for them to feel comfortable and share their thoughts or experiences. Educate them on the legal, emotional, and social consequences of teens sending nudes, emphasizing how easily shared images can lead to embarrassment, bullying, or legal issues. If you’re concerned that your teen might be engaging in risky behavior or struggling with emotional issues, consider seeking the help of a counselor or therapist.


    In addition, you can use parental controls and monitoring apps to oversee their online activity, while respecting their privacy. Safes, our parental control app, helps you track your teen’s activities on online platforms to protect them from potential dangers. Similar to iPhone parental controls, Safes provides practical tools to help you set screen time limits, block contacts, and websites, uninstall apps, and apply other necessary protective measures. Safes helps you to be proactive in guiding your teen toward responsible digital behavior.


    a teen girl taking a selfie in bed to send for someone she’s sexting with


    Final Word

    Raising a teen in the digital age can be challenging, especially when it comes to issues of the online world, like sexting. However, you can manage to protect and educate them by providing a safe comforting place for them to talk and share their inner thoughts. However, despite our best efforts, it’s not always possible to monitor every aspect of their digital lives. So, it pays off to educate yourself and raise your sexting awareness. Moreover, you can always seek help from a therapist if necessary.


    You can download Safes for Android and iOS today and get started by using our free trial. Then, you can experience peace of mind knowing you have an extra layer of security for your child’s online presence.

    Rana Mazahernasab

    Rana Mazahernasab

    At auctor lacus fusce enim id tempor etiam amet. Et consequat amet eu nulla nunc est massa dui consequat. Facilisi adipiscing nec condimentum sit laoreet non turpis aenean in. Aliquam cursus elementum mollis sed accumsan nisl ullamcorper in.

    Want to know more about digital parenting?

    Our newsletter is your go-to source for staying updated with the latest information on parenting and online child safety. Subscribe to our once a week must have tips, to simplify parenting in the digital age. Read the editor’s top pick of the week to ensure a safe online experience for your child.

    More from Our Blog

    Let’s explore Oppositional Defiant Disorder in teens & adults, highlighting the key differences & the impact on both the individuals & their families.


    baby picking up cucumbers from a range of different fruits and vegetables
    Good nutrition is an important aspect of life. Teaching nutrition activities to kids is a great way to make them aware of this. Read this complete guide. 


    Understanding the Value of STEM Activities for Kindergarten
    Let’s discuss STEM education in early childhood & the role of school administrators in promoting & implementing STEM activities for kindergarteners.


    Child identity theft is an emerging form of cybercrime. As a parent, you must understand how to protect your child’s identity from cyber predators.


    Get Weekly Parenting Must-Knows in Your Inbox

    Deepen your parenting knowledge with our tips and tricks. Receive our editor’s top picks in your inbox once a week—no spam guaranteed.

    Download Safes Kids for Chrombook

    1. Install the Safes Kids app on your Chromebook from Google Play. 
    2. Pair Safes Kids with parent app. Follow the instructions in the app to pair your child’s device with your parent device.  
    3. Add the Safe Kids Chrome extension. Open Chrome and go to the Chrome Web Store. 
    4. Navigate to the Manage extensions page. Click the three dots in the top right corner of Chrome and select “Extensions”>”Manage Extensions”>”Details”
    5. Turn on “Allow in incognito mode” This will allow the Safe Kids extension to work in incognito mode, which is important if your child uses incognito mode to try to bypass the parental controls.
    6. Select Safes extension and follow on-screen instruction

    Download Safes Kids for Android

    Download the Android Kid’s app directly to get the full features!

    Download Safes Kids App on Play Store

    Download Safes Kids App on

    Safe Kids is available on the Google Play Store, but if you download it directly from our website, you will get access to Call and SMS monitoring feature, You can monitor the phone calls of your child’s device, as well as the contacts and messages they have sent and received, including those containing inappropriate content.