As useful as the Internet may be, social media platforms, e-mails and easily-available content have made it remarkably easy for ill-intentioned users to harm others. Cyberbullying, copyright infringement and privacy breaches are only some of the numerous dangers to which Internet users are constantly exposed.
Cyberbullying is commonly defined as a form of harassment that takes place over electronic/digital devices such as cellphones, smartphones and computers (Nemours). It typically includes sending and spreading negative, harmful and/or embarrassing content about someone else (Nemours). As a relatively new form of bullying, many states do not regard cyberbullying as criminal behavior (Stopbullying.gov). Nevertheless, there are many organizations that support cyberbullying victims by offering them legal assistance and showing them how to protect themselves (common suggestions include keeping one’s social media accounts private, refusing to interact with strangers and sharing as little information as possible about one’s personal life).
Copyright infringement is another serious issue that policymakers have been struggling to counteract. It involves the unauthorized use of copyrighted material and can constitute either a civil or a criminal offence, depending on the situation (InBrief). In the United States, the Copyright Act of 1976 protects the rights of creators and authors both online and offline; however, the Online Copyright Infringement Liability Limitation Act shields online service providers from their own violations of copyright law as long as certain criteria are met. The best way for copyright holders to protect their work is to stress the copyrighted nature of their content and use ad hoc tools to prevent unauthorized users from downloading it.
In the Knowledge Age, nothing is as valuable as information. To obtain large amounts of sensitive information about Internet users, cybercriminals have developed a wide range of tools and techniques (e.g., trojans, viruses, phishing scams etc.). With consumers becoming increasingly concerned about their privacy, governments across the world have taken steps to protect users’ privacy rights; in the United States, most states have passed laws to protect their residents’ private information (ICLG). Should a violation of privacy occur, Internet users can either discuss the issue with the culprit or contact the authorities; to protect their private data, users can scan their devices for viruses, set complex passwords, secure their browsers and avoid sharing personal information on social media (Harper).
- Harper, Elizabeth. 9 Simple Ways to Protect Your Privacy. 26 Jul. 2018,
- InBrief. Criminal liability for copyright infringement. 2018,
- Nemours. Cyberbullying. 2018, https://kidshealth.org/en/teens/cyberbullying.html
- Stopbullying.gov. What is Cyberbullying. 2018,