Dangers of dating websites
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?
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.
No doubt, the Internet can be an extremely useful tool for young people.
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.
More predators are now scouring social networking sites, such as My Space and Xanga, because these sites have centralized so much information, Shehan says.
"They don't see you crying," Handy says, which may make it easier for them to continue.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.Internet Safety Tips Some tips from for responding to cyberbullying: The online world opens the door for trusting young people to interact with virtual strangers - even people they'd normally cross the street to avoid in real life.About 1 in 7 kids have been sexually solicited online, says John Shehan, Cyber Tipline program manager for the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children in Alexandria, Virginia.
"Think before you post, because once you do, it's going to be up there forever," Shehan says.