Risks and crimes in the use of the Internet

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In the digital media there are different types of beliefs regarding the different uses given to the Internet, some of them can become potential risks and crimes to the identity of each person.

"The danger is in the street not in the digital media."

Children and adolescents are not prepared to face content and contact risks. That is why they need adult supervision. It is important that as adults we are aware of the risks associated with the use of the Internet and ICTs, as adults are also exposed.

The risks associated with the use of the Internet is a latent alert about a possible situation in digital environments, which can affect ourselves and people close to us both in the present and in the future. These risks can be addressed if we act responsibly. 

  1. Phishing: fishing for data on the Internet. This type of crime is very common. It is the theft of data by sending links in e-mails or instant messaging. 

According to the National Police Cyber Center, the top three scam vectors of 2019 were:

  • 80% fraudulent personalized mailings
  • 60% Identity Theft
  • 53% Mail masking
  1. Grooming: contact that strangers make with children under 18 years of age to involve them in sexually exploitative activities; this contact is very dangerous, and therefore all necessary precautions should be taken when making such contact.

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  • Seduction through social networks.
  • Manipulate to extract personal information from you.
  • Activities involving sexual activity (sending videos, photos)

Sexting: is the exchange of messages, text or videos with erotic and sexual content, of oneself or others. If the content circulated is of persons under 18 years of age, it is a crime.

According to data from the Gaula of the National Police, during mandatory isolation in Colombia, the figures of extortion by sexting increased 130%. In May 2019, 124 cases were reported and in 2020 it rose to 240 cases.

3. Cyberdependence: this is understood as the compulsive or uncontrolled use of cell phones, computers, video game consoles or online games, including online gambling. Cyberdependence is a latent digital risk that affects not only children and adolescents, but also adults.

"It is not true that children and adolescents only have fun on the Internet and that is why they are not at risk."

4. Cyberbullying or cyberbullying: occurs when we repeatedly engage in hostile behavior with the intention of hurting another. It is associated with the dissemination of lies about others, embarrassing or intimate images, sending hurtful, threatening or denigrating messages. 

How to deal with cyberbullying

  • Block the offender within the same digital environment in which the harassment occurs.
  • Report to the administrators of the space where the harassment is occurring.
  • If the behavior is repetitive, it is necessary to collect evidence, such as screenshots of the situation that is occurring.
  • Minors must go to adults for counseling.
  • Adults should not only understand what bullying is and its consequences, but also know the channels of support and reporting.

5. Cyber Extortion: are acts by which criminals seek benefits, usually economic, through the use of force, violence and intimidation threatening life and good name. 


  • Monitor and control the pages visited or browsed by minors.
  • A child under the age of 14 should not have smartphones with free access to the Internet.
  • Activate privacy filters on networks so that their faces are not exposed to ill-intentioned people.

Speaker: Viviana Rodríguez. Trainer of the ICT program Confio+, Bachelor in Biology and Master in Education.

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