Internet dating dangers children

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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.

"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.

How savvy are you about keeping your child or teenager safe online?

"They come across to the children as their new best friend.

They're going to have the same likes and dislikes," Shehan says.

"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.

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