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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.

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"In terms of predators, that's obviously a hot spot where they can go to research victims," Shehan says.

"They need to meet these kids, groom these children and become friends." Predators may take on fake identities and feign interest in a child's favorite bands, TV shows, video games or hobbies.

More predators are now scouring social networking sites, such as My Space and Xanga, because these sites have centralized so much information, Shehan says.

A child's profile typically includes photos, personal interests and blogs.

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.

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?

Mary Ellen Handy had a painful crash course in the dangers of the Internet.

The trouble started in her freshman year of high school after a dispute over a boy's affections.

"Think before you post, because once you do, it's going to be up there forever," Shehan says.

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