Cyberspace and Related Threats

Julia Nowicka, Marian Kopczewski, Zbigniew Ciekanowski,Agnieszka Krol
European Research Studies Journal, Volume XXVI, Issue 2, 421-435, 2023
DOI: 10.35808/ersj/3179


Purpose: The study encompasses the characterization of cyberspace, and the threats present on the Internet. Furthermore, the changes resulting from the development of information technologies are presented, with particular emphasis on the scale of the phenomenon. The authors elucidate the distinction between the Internet and cyberspace, as well as the origins of the term "cyberspace," which continues to evoke criticism within the scientific community and poses challenges in terms of definition. The authors also address the hazards associated with Internet usage, categorizing them as physical, psychological, social, and dependencies on cyberspace. Design/Methodology/Approach: Taking into account the magnitude of the phenomenon, the subject of investigation for this study is defined as security threats in cyberspace. Adhering to the theoretical principles of research goal specification, the aim of this study is to present the threats and their impact on cybersecurity in cyberspace. The aforementioned objective is achieved by utilizing theoretical information from the literature on the subject and conducting original research. The primary research problem adopted for this study is as follows: What are the most influential threats to cybersecurity in cyberspace, and what countermeasures exist to mitigate these threats? Accordingly, the following hypothesis is formulated in response to the research problem: Each type of threat carries significant consequences, and it is imperative to counteract these threats through appropriate Internet usage practices. The research employs a methodology that involves literature analysis, the examination of legal acts related to cyber security, detailed analysis of data from the "Teenagers 3.0" nationwide study conducted by NASK – a National Research Institute, as well as synthesis. The authors' existing knowledge on this issue is also taken into account. Findings: The immense potential of opportunities inherent in cyberspace can bring numerous benefits in various aspects of everyday life, particularly for teenagers who seek answers to many pressing questions. However, cyberspace can also pose numerous threats, including those in the physical, psychological, and social spheres. There is a low societal awareness regarding cyber threats, as well as low effectiveness in preventing cyber addictions. Practical implications: The article identifies security threats in cyberspace. The authors address this issue in the context of the occurrence of physical, psychological, and social risks among teenagers, as well as youth's dependency on cyberspace, the Internet, and computer games. Originality/Value: The authors present how the development and widespread use of the Internet influence the creation of the phenomenon of virtualization of reality, which manifests itself in attitudes and behaviours, especially among the younger generation, not always positive. Based on the analysis of literature on the subject and conducted research in this area, one can observe a low effectiveness of the existing prevention of cyber addictions and other media pathologies, currently recognized as diseases/civilizational plagues. Therefore, it is crucial to systematically address this issue from a theoretical and empirical perspective.

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