The Internet: A Predator’s Haven

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The Internet: A Predator’s Haven

Hannah Johns, Junior Staff Writer

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The internet is extremely helpful in quickly spreading community and national news, but it can also be a scary and dangerous place. Internet incidents happen so easily because people are anonymous behind a screen, exercising the potential to provoke bullying, human trafficking, catfishing, and many other negative issues. Sophomore Angelina Eusanio commented on dangers within the Internet, stating, “It [the internet] can give you false information, thus people end up believing in something that is not true.”

Nowadays, a common internet hobby is to “catfish”, or make fake profile pages to pose as a different person.  Purposes behind these fake pages may be to harass or propagate a scam. Sophomore Andrea Dull says, “On the internet, people can use pictures of other people and trick you into thinking they are someone else. Users really need to be on their toes and check out all aspects of someone’s profile.” These fake profiles can be dangerous and unpredictable because many teens, and unfortunately, some adults, are gullible and may willingly give their personal information to someone they believe and trust, but don’t really know in the least. Users are “taught” to never give out personal information, but how many times do you hear of someone being kidnapped because of a false internet contact?  In today’s world, it’s an extensive risk to trust someone on the internet, especially if both people haven’t met in person.

According to online sources, bullying is a growing concern on the internet, as nearly 43% of children and teens are cyberbullied at least once.  81% of teens believe it’s easier to get away with cyberbullying, rather than bullying in person. They believe that they can say whatever they want on the internet without any repercussions. HHS junior Kyleigh Johnson states, “Cyberbullying is just as bad or even worse than physical bullying. Many parents don’t even know that their child is being bullied because it happens online which makes it harder to catch.”

Another major problem on the internet is human trafficking. Most think today that slavery is now part of the past, but human trafficking is a modern form of slavery that generates hundreds of billions of dollars. According to Polaris Project (an online preventative human trafficking resource site), more than 40,000 total cases have been reported to the human trafficking hotline in the past 10 years. These victims are forced provide labor services and commercial sex.

It’s true that there are hidden dangers anywhere one looks, but the internet is one of the most dangerous venues in the world. In order to keep this generation safe, schools should teach about the dangers of the internet, and parents should monitor their child’s electronic activity. Do not share any personal information online, as you never know what could happen. Stay safe!



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