Nudity is rarely a public affair in the US and Canada, with the exception of the occasional nude beach or naturist society. In most cases, nudes are private affairs shared between people who feel a romantic connection to each other. But it can be easy to overlook the potential complications that come with sending a nude photo or video.
Even on apps like Snapchat where photos disappear within 24 hours, there is no guarantee that the recipient won't screenshot your nude or use another app to access it again later. And if your nude photo ends up on the internet (which happens a lot) without your consent, it can have lifelong consequences you might not be prepared to deal with.
The reasons teens send nudes are complicated - puberty increases experimentation and sexual curiosity, and their brains are wired for social interaction. They are looking for affirmation and approval, which can make them more likely to accept a guy or girl who asks for a nude picture.
But nudes shouldn't be traded for attention or a sense of entitlement. The first step to avoiding these problems is ensuring your privacy. Make sure you secure your accounts and devices with passwords, patterns, PINs, passcodes, or biometric features, and keep all your personal content in a folder that is only accessible by you using a unique password or a fingerprint. It's also a good idea to enable two-factor authentication wherever you can.