MARYLAND (WJZ) — A recent study reveals that Maryland is ranked eight out of 10 on a list of the “Most Dangerous States for Kids Online.”

The Internet Service Partners released a report titled “Safest and Most Dangerous States for Kids Online” on July 11, which analyzes the most recent youth statistics and cybercrime reports related to malware infection rates, youth victims of internet crime, state education rank, cyber-bullying laws, and youth mental illness.

Although most people may think online safety is solely based on children’s behavior, it also has to do with where you live.

All U.S. states have an anti-bullying law, but not every state recognizes cyberbullying and electronic harassment as part of that law.

According to the report, most of the states on the list of the most dangerous states for kids online are in the South or West, and they have looser cyberbullying laws or less access to mental health resources in comparison to their Northeastern counterparts. However, both Maryland and Virginia made the list.

Although it may seem unsettling that Maryland made it in the top ten, the report details a list of steps that parents can do to protect kids online.

In addition to lobbying for legal changes, parents should talk to their kids about online behavior, keep the family computer in a shared space, discuss privacy settings, and take advantage of their internet service provider’s resources to lessen the chances of suspicious online activity and danger.

This report was generated by Internet Service Partners who are one of the largest re-sellers for Centurylink, which is an internet, phone, and TV services provider for states in the West and Mid-Western regions.

To read the full report click here.

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Grace Clark (WJZ Intern) authored this article 

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