Do you think the Internet is a safe place? If you do, you aren’t alone. Many people believe the Internet is safe; however, they could not be more wrong. Many people can and do deny the hard truth about the place they know and love; however, the facts and evidence speak for themselves. It is clear that the Internet is a dangerous place as the malicious sites, mischievous people, and unexpected traps contained in our “safe haven” are far from friendly.

Malicious sites are something that roams the Internet and are the bane of websites all over the platform. Websites are sites on the web with domains (https://website-name.something) such as Google, Wikipedia, or Youtube. The sites I listed are some of the ones that we use often and are identified to be relatively safe to use. However, some sites are more hidden in the dark and have more malicious purposes. These websites can contain IP grabbers (tools that can be used to find your location), viruses/malware (tools that may infect your computer and take sensitive information), and more ill-intended software that can not only threaten your digital life but your real one as well., and are a few examples of this (both have been taken down), with both of them containing malware and other sites such as Grabify publicly allowing people to create their own IP grabbers, all while taking your own at the same time.

Mischievous people are humans or robots that lurk on the Internet, waiting for a new victim to infect. These people have many purposes ranging from developing those same malicious websites that we mentioned before or displaying traits of cyberbullying/predation. Simply posting pictures or traits that you publish on social media can motivate skilled hackers to find your identity in the span of minutes. An example of this is the story of Alicia Kozakiewicz, a young girl who got kidnapped by an internet pedophile. Luckily she was saved; however, it just shows how seemingly insignificant details such as your face or your name can cause the difference between happy internet browsing and a lifetime of regret and fear.

On the other hand, many people argue that they/their children are responsible enough to flow through the Internet safely. Many would agree that you can gracefully navigate the Internet safely and avoid a good amount of things I have talked about in the essay. However, unexpected traps are placed all over the web. They can come with the face of a fake celebrity, friend, family, or on the other hand or dark emails that blackmail you into doing unspeakable things like the story of Nicole Hayden being catfished by a man on the internet.. The point is that you can always try your best to be safe on the Internet, but sometimes there are simply things out of your control.

The Internet is a great place. It holds the information we need and apps that we love but if you have picked up anything from this essay is that the Internet can be a dangerous place. With all the terrible people, sites, and traps, you might think I hate the Internet or advise you to stop using it. In truth, however, it is the opposite. I am on the Internet every day, whether doing schoolwork, gaming with friends, or coding. I have experienced these things I talk about first hand, but it does not scathe my undying love for the web. So, in conclusion, you should keep in mind that the Internet holds dangers but still use it for the wonderful tool it is.

-Vivek Vikram Chaudhuri

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