Natalie, a high school senior with a level of intelligence and sophistication that rivals many adults; this young lady is defiantly going somewhere in her life.
As the head cheerleader for her high school cheer squad, The Eagles, she took her responsibility to the sport seriously and practiced religiously.
With her love of cheer, Natalie created an Instagram account to show off her skills and teach other young girls. Every day she would post pictures of her doing cheers and videos showing step-by-step how she performed her act. Within weeks she became an instant hit on IG, earning thousands of followers and her posts regularly showed up as trending suggestions.
What Natalie did not know was a few cyber predators were lurking in the shadows and began downloading her pictures and sharing them with other creeps. To make things worse, these perverts digitally morphed her face onto nude pornographic photos and passed them off as her real nude photos, commonly referred to as "deep fakes."
Months went on, and Natalie had no idea her photos were being abused on the dark web. It was pure coincidence that she found out. As part of her senior project, she was researching cyberbullying and sexual harassment of teenage girls when she uploaded her photos to Cyberbully.watch.
Natalie was horrified to find her photos matched to results from online pornographic sites. She knew this couldn't be true, she had never taken any nude pictures, so how in the world could there be any? It must be a mistake, but her inquisitive side told her to investigate more.
With the help of her School Resource Officer, Natalie was able to unlock the Cyberbully.watch report and was shocked by what she found. There were hundreds of her stolen IG photos along with the fakes on multiple online pornographic websites that specialize in underage girls.
Together with the assistance of her family lawyer, the SRO, and her parents, Natalie fought back and removed all of her photos from these websites.
Now she fights as a victim advocate and now only shares her cheerleading photos using a private social media platform SecureTribe. She encourages all other teenage girls to ditch Instagram and keep a careful eye on who they authorize to see their photos and videos online.
Natalie's story highlights how this can happen to anyone, even someone that has never taken a nude or risque photo. Even innocent family photos at the beach can be stolen and abused by cyber perverts.