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Is having a video of yourself nude on a device illigal if it is never sent anywhere

Hi. ​ i have seen the laws about sexting and how its illegal but what if a kid took a video of themselves naked with no intention of sending it to anyone and then deleted it. is this still illegal or is it ok.

Ask Sam


Hi there,

The law about child pornography, sexting and nude images of children and young people under 18 can be confusing, but the important thing to remember is it's there to protect you. There are things to think about when it comes to taking nude pictures or videos of yourself.

Although it's technically against the law to have sexual pictures of a child, it's very unlikely the police would ever want to do anything about you taking nude pictures or videos of yourself if you weren't sending them anywhere. The police are really interested in stopping people who are committing real crimes and acting in a malicious or abusive way.

Apart from the law, there are other risks you need to think about when taking pictures or videos of yourself. When you take a photo or video on a smartphone it's common these days for those files to be backed up and stored online too (in the cloud).

Both iPhones and Android phones have features where they can automatically save your photo and video to online storage, sometimes without you realising it's doing so. If you've deleted something from your phone, it might not have deleted the version in the cloud. You should check to see if your phone is keeping things online and make sure it's deleted in both places.

It’s important to do what you can to stay safe online. Whenever you take any photos or videos of yourself you should think whether there’s any information accidentally given away. Taking a photo in your school uniform tells someone what school you go to. If you posted that online or shared it, it could be a dangerous piece of information to give.

Your phone also likely stores things like the GPS location of the photo. Most smartphones keep that extra information with the photo, which means if you share it then someone might find out your real life location. Platforms like Instagram usually remove this information when you post but if you just send the photo from your phone to another person, that information will still be kept.

Taking photos and videos of yourself is a natural and normal part of life - and something you should be able to do. It's important to keep all these things in mind and take all the steps you can to stay safe. Anything you post or share online leaves information on you that forms part of your digital footprint.

And remember that if there is a nude image of you online that has got out and is being shared, you can use Childline's Report-Remove tool to try to get it taken down.

If you want to talk about any images or videos you've taken of yourself you can talk to a Childline counsellor if you're worried. You can also speak to other young people on the Childline message boards.

Thanks for writing, take care.


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