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Glossary of risks and threats

Internet Addiction

Cyberaddiction or Internet addiction disorder (IAD), or, more broadly, problematic use and / or pathological of Internet. It's the excessive computer use that interferes with daily life. The more time people spend online, the more they risk of becoming addicted to internet. Young people are especially vulnerable to the fact of not being able to leave the computer. So this risk is, first and foremost, related to their own behavior.

Advice harmful

Forums, blogs, or other areas related to Internet contacts become a platform for the exchange of tips or advice among users. This may means an invaluable help, but can also facilitate contact with inadequate or even dangerous counselors or advisors. The risk is triggered mainly by the behavior of others.

Cyber baiting

Cyber baiting of teachers. Students provoke teachers to record their reactions and upload them to the net to publicly humiliate them.

Cyber bullying

Different types of harassment seem to be always part of the lives of young people. Both children as well as youth are at risk of becoming victims of harassment or even becoming bullies. Accordingly, harassment or bullying is related to both: their own behavior as the behavior of others. Although the publication of content such defamatory photographs can be considered partially bullying, this phenomenon is mostly related to the contact network.

Illegal content: child pornography, racism, ...

The content classified as illegal, depends mainly on the national legislation, although certain types of content are illegal in most countries. In any case, illegal content are available and both, youth and children, can access them unintentionally and intentionally. It should also be given the fact that youth and children become victims of illegal content, for example by taking and posting photos or videos in which minors are abused.

Inappropriate content for the age

Internet provides rich content for all user groups. Not all content should be accessible to children and youth. It's needed to pay special atention to those contents that without being illegal, can hurt young users. The risk of accessing inappropriate content for a given age, may be a result of user's own behavior who look for it deliberately or it can be by accident, running into them, without prior intent.

Inaccurate or biased content

The risk of encountering incorrect content, for example in Wikipedia or in a fake product announcement is primarily related to the behavior of other users and it is multiplied by the increasing number of Web 2.0 applications where the correction is, as much, controlled by the users themselves instead of by an editor. Biased content are deliberately designed to transmit a certain message. Search results manipulated with a particular intention can be taken as true by young inexperienced users.

Violent content

The violent content is another example of inappropriate content on the basis of age. The effect of violent content has on those who see it, depends largely on the age of the subject, its online content consumption habits and their social environment. In particular, younger children should be protected from this type of violent content.

Disclosure / revelation of private information

Create a profile on a community platform invites the user to disclose information in order to introduce him/herself to the community. Also in the chat rooms users can reveal private information to others (eg the address or telephone number). Particularly young people are not aware that a chat is not a private space, but public, not being able to foresee the consequences of publishing their data. Therefore, this risk is related to their own behavior.

Commercial fraud

Commercial fraud occurs when sellers pretend to sell products or services, that once the payment is done, they don't achieve the conditions promised, nor deliver the product. It may also be a result of false identities and phishing. Another source of commercial fraud may be selling digital services, such as a ringtone, an unfair and disproportionate price often subject to a permanent subscription to the service, or app-related purchases, such as pieces to make progress in certain games. The risk is more related to the conduct of those who offer fraudulent services online, than the user's conduct.


Mobile devices often generate and store data of Geolocation if the service is not locked or off deliberately. This data can be transferred such as an exif file in an image revealing unintentionally the actual geographic location of the user. Young people, in particular, are not aware of the risks caused by his own conduct. Furthermore, the explotation of data of geolocalitation allow local advertising unsuitable for younger users.

Grooming / Child grooming

Pedophiles use Internet as a means of contact with children and young, hiding his adult identity. Often, they base their strategy on the desire or need of friendship of the youngest. All websites that offer platforms for contacts and exchanges among people may present a risk of grooming or child grooming.

Incitement to damage / Self-harm

There are many websites that encourage users to self-harm, for example, websites that promote suicide, anorexia or sectarianism. With Web 2.0 and the growing possibilities to publish their own content (by the user), the risk of exposure to content that encourage self-harm increases. In particular, children and youth are unable, in many cases, to make a proper assessment of the risks of following the instructions given in this type of page.

Infringement of copyright / violation of copyright

The violation of copyright is a risk, mainly, derived from user behavior. Regardless of whether those rights are violated voluntary or involuntary, the violation is a financial fraud to the holder, exposing the offender to a risk of fine.

Loss of money / Phishing

Phishing means the process of bank data acquisition, especially PINs and TANs, in order to plunder the accounts of others. Young people are more likely to not recognize fake sites and thus, facilitate their bank data. Therefore, this risk is related to both their own behavior and the behavior of others.

Persistence / data permanence

The content published on the network, can spread rapidly throughout the world. Especially young people and children are not aware of the short and long-term consequences and often publish articles and photographs that they don't want it's publicly available later. Insofar this information is impossible to eliminate afterwards, the risk of persistent / permanence of data is related to user's conduct, particularly relevant to the reckless young people.

Data portability

Data which is deliberately stored on a server or platform can easily be transferred to many different servers. People who are not aware of this fact, can easily lose their privacy. While most young people tend to know a lot about the technical possibilities of the network, we must recognize that most of them do not have the ability to estimate the possible consequences when their data are mixed with other information of their own person.


With the increasing number of profiles that a person publishes on different platforms, it increases the risk that the data provided in a platform is mixed with other data published elsewhere or transferred to third parties, for example, surveys or sweepstakes. This, will create profiles that allow direct access to the user, sending him content, services or unwanted advertisements. The profiling can be obtained from sites in which personal data are public, being more dangerous when they, or part of them, are obtained from hidden databases and sold by the supplier of the platform to third parties. This risk is only related to the conduct of others.

Advertising or marqueting unsuitable for minors

Inappropriate advertisement means risk of receiving or being exposed to advertising or announcements of products or services not suitable for children, such as cosmetic surgery. The more personal information users provide in websites, such as name or gender, much more they are exposed to receive advertising. Since children are, in many cases, unaware of the consequences of introducing their names on forms or text boxes in websites, it is a high risk for them.

Services inappropriate for the age

The interest of young users for services such as communities or social networks is growing rapidly. These services are generally restricted depending on the age and therefore should not be accessible for children and youth under the age limit because they may not fully understand the consequences of using such services, nor meet the terms and conditions of use of the service. The risk of inappropriate services based on age is therefore related to their own behavior and also, the behavior of others.


It is a practice that involves sending pictures or videos of erotic-pornographic content by children or youth, mainly through mobile phone (Sex + Texting = Sexting). In itself, even in a context of adequate privacy, can pose problems related to child pornography. Another incident is when these images come from the private sphere to the public, assuming the erosion of privacy and honor of the individual and, in many cases, the beginning of vicious cyberbullying campaigns. It is an emerging practice because teenagers relate it to flirt with and fun, two very compelling reasons to resist in those ages.


This phenomenon emerged in the digital society and we can all be victims of it. It is defined as an abuse of sending text messages, either through cell phones or social networks to keep in touch and informed.

Impersonation / Identity theft. Misuse of personal data

The Identity theft is the appropriation or intentional use of digital identity of others (eg usernames and passwords) in order to cause commercial fraud or other sort of fraud to this person with personal gain. Identity theft is a growing risk due to increased virtual or digital identities as a result of more people being online, mainly, those using personalized services.

Violation of human rights / defamation

In the anonymity of the web, you can easily spread propaganda against certain population groups or individuals. Furthermore, it could be concluded that people act differently online, where they have not to confront immediately the consequences of their behavior. On the other hand, defamatory content are harmful for children and youth, whose opinion may be influenced by misleading information.

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