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A child's profile typically includes photos, personal interests and blogs.
"In terms of predators, that's obviously a hot spot where they can go to research victims," Shehan says.
While sexual predators have targeted children in chat rooms, they migrate to wherever young people go online, Shehan says.
More predators are now scouring social networking sites, such as My Space and Xanga, because these sites have centralized so much information, Shehan says.
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Mary Ellen Handy had a painful crash course in the 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.
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.
"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.
The trouble started in her freshman year of high school after a dispute over a boy's affections.
Once she began dating him, a jealous girl flooded her computer with a stream of nasty messages.
"She'd say, 'I hate you; leave the school,' and she called me every name in the book," says Handy, now an 18-year-old senior in New Jersey.
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.