Some cyberbullies pose as their victims and send out harassing messages to others.Recently, cyberbullies have also begun posting humiliating videos of other kids they dislike, says Parry Aftab, a cyberspace security and privacy lawyer who also serves as executive director of Wired Safety.org, one of the largest Internet safety education groups in the world.With the speed and ease of the Internet, her classmate soon recruited 20 others to bully Handy online. As the ordeal dragged on for months, she dreaded going to school, felt physically ill and saw her grades tumble.
"Think before you post, because once you do, it's going to be up there forever," Shehan says.
A child's online reputation is a growing concern, Aftab says, with the rise of online social networking and profiles.
"It's quite crafty what these child predators will go through." Internet Safety Tips Internet Danger #3: Pornography One of the worst dangers of the Internet, for many parents, is the idea that pornography could pop up and surprise their children.
But parents may not realize that some kids are going online to seek out web porn, too.
You can view the Internet browser history to see which websites your child is visiting, Shehan says.
But since kids can delete this history, you may want to install Internet filtering software to block porn sites in the first place.Cyberbullying includes sending hateful messages or even death threats to children, spreading lies about them online, making nasty comments on their social networking profiles, or creating a website to bash their looks or reputation.Cyberbullying differs from schoolyard bullying, Handy says. "When it happens online, there's no one to filter it," she says.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.Mary Ellen Handy had a painful crash course in the dangers of the Internet.