Police are warning teenagers and young people to think twice about sharing images online.
The plea by Northumbria Police follows an increase in the number of reports of concerns received by police across the force area about teenagers and young people posting images of themselves on sites like Facebook and Instagram - some of a sexually explicit nature.
Officers are asking youngsters to think carefully about the content they post online and are reminding them that these images have the potential to be shared worldwide with strangers and online criminals.
Detective Inspector Angela Hufton said: “If you are posting images of a sexually explicit nature you are putting yourself at risk of unwanted contact from other teenagers, harassment, bullying and exploitation from cyber criminals.
“Never send or share an explicit image in a text or over the internet.
“However much you trust the person you are sending it to you have no idea where it could end up.
“It is also important to be aware that you may also be committing criminal offences for which you could be arrested. The consequences of this could follow you into your adult life and in certain circumstances may affect your prospects of a career.
“The internet is an essential tool and social networking sites are a popular way for young people to communicate but we need to make sure they stay safe online and know how to use it responsibly.
“Anyone who may have concerns about images they have shared or received should speak with a trusted adult or the police straight away.”
Anyone with information about persons who may be at risk, or who are committing offences are asked to contact police via 101.
For more information about staying safe online please visit: http://www.northumbria.police.uk/esafety