Cassidy Wolf should be on top of the world after being crowned Miss Teen USA Saturday in the Bahamas. But the 19-year-old is using her newfound fame to reveal a very dark private struggle.
Four months ago, Wolf, a California native, was notified that someone had tried to log into her Facebook account from a different state. Shortly after, she received an anonymous email from someone claiming to have hacked into the webcam on the computer in her bedroom. The stalker tried to extort the teen saying the photos would not be made public in return.
“I wasn’t aware that somebody was watching me [on my webcam],” Wolf, who was targeted before she’d won her national title, told EXALTED HAIR STYLE”The light [on the camera] didn’t even go on, so I had no idea.”
Instead of giving in to the threats, the teenager went to the authorities, who are now investigating the case. Because it is under federal investigation Wolf cannot reveal what types of photos were taken of her, or what the person tried to extort, though she did tell Fox News they captured things a person does “in the privacy of their own room,” when they’re not expecting to be watched.
But Wolf is trying to glean some good from a bad situation. She has been visiting schools near her hometown of Temecula, California, to talk to teens about cybercrime and hopes to expand her platform during her one-year reign as Miss Teen USA.
“Constantly change your passwords,” Wolf told Fox of the advice she had for other teens. “I had the same password forever, for years, so now seeing that someone can easily hack into my stuff just by downloading an incorrect link, it’s very important to change your passwords, delete your cookies, put a sticker over your webcam [when you’re not using it] because you never know when someone could be watching.”
The college student will be attending New York Film Academy in NYC — and living in a dorm instead of the swanky apartment that comes with the Miss Teen USA gig! — in the fall and plans to continue her awareness campaign while in the Big Apple. She’d only been competing in pageants for two years before taking home the crown last weekend.
“I was shocked and overwhelmed,” she told EXALTED HAIR STYLE BLOG of beating out 51 other teens for the title. “I don’t remember how I was feeling. I was crying, I was so happy.”