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FBI coins new term: 'Sextortion'

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Updated: 11/11/2010 11:30 pm
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The FBI is warning people about a new cybercrime they're calling sextortion.

It's something most of us do everyday, check our email, Facebook accounts and surf the web. The FBI says be careful. Some of the emails in your inbox may not be from the person you think it is.

The FBI even coined a new word for this new cybercrime. They call it sextortion. They just netted a big time hacker, a 31-year-old man from California. He's accused of sending messages to people that look like they are from friends. When the message is opened, he's in. Computer experts say it leaves you completely vulnerable. "It installs a program on the computer, collects files and it gives a person remote access into the computer," said expert Brian Cox.

The hacker can take over control of your computer, without you even being near it. He could even watch you through your own web cam. That worries a lot of parents like Brian Thomas who have young children. "It's becoming the avenue to a lot of bad stuff."

The FBI says this hacker found racy photos on the computers of some of his victims. In some cases, he even used them for blackmail. It's just one more reason to protect your privacy online. "It happens more often than you think, enough to where a lot of people would be scared to use computers if they realized how often," said Cox.

There are a few things you can do to prevent this from happening to your child and your computer. First, make sure to turn it off when you're not using it, update your anti-virus programs and only go to websites you know are reputable.    

This hacker also operated under a bunch of different screen names. We've posted all the information you need to know from the FBI website on the link in this article.
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