Eriksons dangers of online dating dating front

Software filters aren't a perfect solution; some nasty sites can slip through, while educational or family-rated sites may be blocked.

So while some parents may wonder whether monitoring means they're spying on their kids, the safety factor often wins out.

Follow these tips to protect your kids from the 4 major dangers of the Internet.

Internet Danger #1: Cyberbullying On the Internet, cyberbullying takes various forms, says Netsmartz411.org, an online resource that educates parents about Internet safety.

But instant messaging, chat rooms, emails and social networking sites can also bring trouble - from cyberbullying to more serious Internet dangers, including exposure to sexual predators.

How savvy are you about keeping your child or teenager safe online?

More predators are now scouring social networking sites, such as My Space and Xanga, because these sites have centralized so much information, Shehan says.

A child's profile typically includes photos, personal interests and blogs.

No doubt, the Internet can be an extremely useful tool for young people.

"In terms of predators, that's obviously a hot spot where they can go to research victims," Shehan says.

"They need to meet these kids, groom these children and become friends." Predators may take on fake identities and feign interest in a child's favorite bands, TV shows, video games or hobbies.

In the age of You Tube, a website that hosts videos shot by users, "Kids are looking for their 15 megabytes of fame," Aftab says. If it's a one-time thing, try to ignore the bully and block future contact, she says.

"They do it to show that they're big enough, popular enough, cool enough to get away with it." Often, kids don't tell parents they're being cyberbullied; they're afraid their parents will overreact or yank Internet privileges, Aftab adds. But if the cyberbullying involves any physical threat, you may need to call the police.

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