The hazzards of online dating

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 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."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.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.

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