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"They come across to the children as their new best friend.They're going to have the same likes and dislikes," Shehan says.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.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.
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.
"In terms of predators, that's obviously a hot spot where they can go to research victims," Shehan says.