~Recovering from identity theft can require hundreds of hours of legwork and tens of thousands of dollars in attorneys' fees, especially if the identity was used for felonious acts.
~Connecting to public Wi-Fi opens the door for hackers to intercept and capture transmitted information, like login and password credentials. Connecting to a banking app from public Wi-Fi gives hackers the information needed to drain the account. Browsing Amazon or checking email or social media are just as risky, especially when consumers use one password for multiple sites.
~Once a device is breached, it's simple to access the data, files and passwords stored on other devices connected to that network. Entertainment devices—like smart TVs and gaming consoles—personal assistants, smartwatches, security cameras, doorbells and thermostats, and even connected refrigerators and baby monitors make life easier.
~ The anonymity of the internet takes bullying to new heights. Saying the wrong thing can lead to doxing: The victim's contact information is shared, resulting in harassing calls, emails, texts and direct messages—sometimes in the thousands—threatening humiliation, injury or death. Other popular harassment tactics include swatting, which is falsely reporting criminal activity to the police with hopes of a SWAT team deploying to the victim's home, and false reports of child abuse. Cyberbullying victims can face a lengthy and expensive process to clear their names.
~Approximately 46% of middle and high school students report experiencing cyberbullying in their lifetimes, according to a 2021 study from the Cyberbullying Research Center. Because bullying shifts from school to online gaming, social media, group chats and more, it's impossible for the victim to find relief. Scandalous images and defamatory content, even if false, become part of the student's online reputation and can impact their ability to get into college or find a job. Teen cyberbullying victims are twice as likely to struggle with depression and suicidal ideation. Recovery may require extensive therapy, removing the student from school and digital reputation management.