Internet and social networks: benefits and risks.


Can you imagine your life without using the internet? Nowadays, it seems like impossible. The networks possibilities have made us dependent on them. But have you ever wondered about the role of internet and social networks in your life?

           Nowadays, it is difficult to imagine the modern world without computers, information technology, and the Internet.  It seems that the internet became a foundation of the modern information society, which unites billions of people around the world.           

According to the data of October 2020 provided by the Internet World Stats 4,929,926,187 people were active internet users, representing approximately 63,2 per cent of the global population.

Source: Internet World Stats. October 27, 2020. Available at

The discussion about the advantages and disadvantages of the internet can go on forever. During the whole of our life, it will be the two side of the coins of everything. There are a lot of benefits of using the internet, and what social media bring to our life. But it is important to understand what is the opposite side of networks.


  • Communication. Social networks provide an opportunity to communicate with colleagues at work, relatives and friends not leaving your home, or even more, it is possible to communicate with a people who live on another continent.
  • Personal growth. Social media can be used as a tool for self-development. You can spend time watching education films, listen to music, read interesting books, and learn foreign languages. There are possibilities to do what you want, to visit online classes that you are interested in.
  • Study. The learning process has become much easier.  Social networks provide the full spectrum of the information. You can find all the necessary literature, photo and video materials.
  • Business Potential. Social networks became a development platform for business, especially this tendency growth during the pandemic COVID-19.  Also, “shopping on the sofa” can save your time because you can buy a product through the application.
  • The creation of a set of interests. It is an easy way to find like-minded people. Some interesting communities and groups offer you this opportunity.


  • Internet addiction. Social networks can change a person’s hormonal balance. Over time, real communication skills are lost. Solving all questions online turns a person into an asocial personality.
  • Procrastination. Since there is enough useless information on social networks, the time spent on the Internet increases several times. It can play a negative effect on well-being, physical and psychological health.
  • Propaganda. There is a lot of the propaganda, violence, extremist ideology, also the distribution of pornography takes place on social networks.
  • Spam and advertising. There are two sides of advertising. The possibility to sell your products or any services. On other hands, you can receive numerous spams in an inbox, because it can be sent on a massive scale.
  • Crime, Hacking and Viruses/Malware. There is a high risk of being cheated by malicious users and computer hackers. They can steal your personal information and hack accounts. There is a threat that your personal information will be used to harm you. Another unpleasant thing, when your computer is vulnerable to malware attack. After all, the viruses can destroy your valuable data, which is difficult to recover.

What European Unión is doing for cybersecurity?

“Cyber‑attacks know no borders and no one is immune.”

(European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker)

          With the rise of technology progress, the threat of cyber-attacks is growing too. Now cybercrime can affect not just on private information of one person, but also it can affect the whole government services. One of the example that shows the full level of hazards is Estonia. The country was a target of a Denial-of-Service attack (DoS). In a consequence, the process of working of web services of Estonian banks, media outlets and government bodies were stopped.

          One of the priorities for the European Union is building strong cybersecurity capabilities. The EU has adopted a broad spectrum of measures to defend the European Digital Single Market and protect infrastructure, governments, businesses and citizens. The Directive on security of network and information systems (NIS) respond to the cybersecurity of vital sectors of the economy and society such as energy, transport, water, banking, health care, financial market infrastructures, digital infrastructure. European Union Agency for Cybersecurity (ENISA) contribute to EU cyber policy through the advising and resolving critical problems.  A new EU Cybersecurity Strategy was represented by the Commission and the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy. The strategy includes the basics such as Shaping Europe’s Digital Future, the Recovery Plan for Europe and the EU Security Union Strategy, where one of the main tasks is to provide a safe usage of cyberspace, including the guarantee to all citizens and businesses of reliable services of digital tools. Another important step to the future was the creation of a Network of Cybersecurity National Centres, that responsible for long-term strategic cooperation between industries, research community and governments, also another goal is to deploy EU cybersecurity products and solutions. Each member state will create one Cybersecurity centre to develop European cybersecurity capabilities.

By Tetiana Gavrilenko


European Union Agency for Cybersecurity. About ENISA – The European Union Agency for Cybersecurity. Available at

European Union. Building strong cybersecurity in the European Union. European Commission, 2019. Available at

European Union. New EU Cybersecurity Strategy and new rules to make physical and digital critical entities more resilient. Brussels: European Commission, 2020. Available at

McGuinness, Damien. “How a cyberattack transformed Estonia”. BBC News.  Available at,in%20some%20cases%20lasted%20weeks.&text=Such%20attacks%20are%20not%20specific%20to%20tensions%20between%20the%20West%20and%20Russia. Accessed February 26, 2021.

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