Richard Colangelo, Connecticut senior assistant state's attorney, recently spoke to Middlesex Middle School sixth- and eighth-grade students about Internet safety and cyber bullying.

Colangelo told the students about the many dangers the Internet can pose and how they can stay in touch with their friends via social media without compromising themselves or putting themselves or someone else in a harmful situation.

Colangelo informed the sixth-grade students of the variety of dangers that exist on the Internet, warning them that real predators are online so they should never reveal personal information because they will not know when they are exposing themselves to potential danger. He also showed the sixth-graders how someone can find personal information about them, such as where they live or where they go to school, from photos posted online.

For the eighth-graders, he talked about the detrimental effects of cyber bullying. He told the students that instant messaging, email, webpages and blogging have enabled bullies to have access to their victims 24 hours a day. Students who witness cyber bullying as bystanders should tell a trusted adult because the ramifications of cyber bullying can have deadly consequences.

Colangelo also warned the eighth-graders about carefully monitoring what they choose to post on social media websites, such as Facebook, email, text or Instagram, since those all are public forms of communication and, in most cases, cannot be simply erased or removed. In fact, what they put online today as eighth-graders exists electronically forever and might even be reviewed by college admissions and potential employers in the future.

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