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Special Feature: Internet SafetyInternet Safety

Computer interconnectivity has produced enormous benefits but has also enabled criminal activity that exploits this interconnectivity for financial gain and other malicious purposes, such as Internet fraud, child exploitation, identity theft, and terrorism (Cybercrime: Public and Private Entities Face Challenges in Addressing Cyber Threats, U.S. Government Accountability Office, 2007). The Internet can give identity thieves, hackers, and scammers online access to your computer, financial and personal information and more (Stop.Think.Click: 7 Practices for Safer Computing, OnGuard Online, 2007). Additionally, today's mobile devices are well integrated with the Internet and have far more functionality than mobile phones of the past. They are increasingly used in the same way as personal computers, potentially making them susceptible to similar threats affecting computers connected to the Internet (Cyber Threats to Mobile Devices, U.S. Computer Emergency Readiness Team, 2010).

For youths, the Internet often serves as a positive and powerful arena for socializing and learning. According to a National Institute of Justice-funded survey of teens, 26% of youth in a relationship said they experienced some form of cyber dating abuse victimization in the prior year. With regard to other findings on bullying experiences, the study showed that 17% reported being victims of cyber bullying (Technology, Teen Dating Violence and Abuse, and Bullying, Urban Institute, July 2013). However, the use of the Internet also brings about risks to their safety, including the dangers of sexual solicitation, online harassment and bullying, and exposure to illegal content (Enhancing Child Safety and Online Technologies: Final Report of the Internet Safety Technical Task Force to the Multi-State Working Group on Social Networking of State Attorneys General of the United States, Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University, 2008).

Recognizing the importance of cybersecurity, President Obama designated October as National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM), with October 2013 marking the tenth annual NCSAM. NCJRS presents this compilation of resources on topics associated with Internet safety. Please select a page from the listing below or from the box at the right under the "Internet Safety" heading to see more: