The Internet is a place of unlimited possibilities, it is a space for getting information, for entertainment, a space for communication, and it also serves as a tool for making acquaintance. For communication and making acquaintance, it is used not only by adults but also by children. However, the Internet communication is not always safe – Internet communication and acquaintances are associated with a number of risks that we have addressed in our latest research called Sexting and Risky Acquaintances Made by Czech Children in Cyberspace 2017. The research smoothly builds on researches Danger of Internet Communication I-V, which we have been implementing in the Czech Republic since 2010.

In our research, we focused on whether Czech children practise sexting (share and spread their own intimate materials) in the online environment, what motivates them, with whom and how they communicate, and whether they perceive sexting as risky. We were also interested in how the children get acquainted, which tools they use for making acquaintance in the online environment, whether they are willing to go to personal meetings with unknown people from cyberspace, whether they are able to verify the identity of virtual friends, etc.

The research was implemented by the Centre for the Prevention of Risky Virtual Communication at the Pedagogical Faculty of Palacky University in Olomouc in cooperation with the company O2 Czech Republic and involved 4878 children’s respondents from all over the Czech Republic as well as several hundred adults aged 18-25 who, however, were not included in the final report.

The results of our research are summarized in this research report.

The European Police Office (Europol) has issued a strategic paper addressing the risks of sexual coercion and online blackmailing of children in the Internet. In the article entitled "Online sexual coercion and extortion as a form of criminality affecting children", the causes of these forms of attacks, ways of dealing with them, as well as preventive procedures are explained in detail. It uses and quotes the results of the Center for the Prevention of Risk Virtual Communication at the Faculty of Education of the UP. Read more on website of Europol.

Research report is ready for download.

Olomouc (6 February 2017) - The Centre for Prevention of Risky Virtual Communication at Palacký University Olomouc investigated the popular computer game Minecraft and its influence in the child population. In the Czech environment, the research called The Minecraft Phenomenon took place in cooperation with Google and Vodafone. More than 2,300 active, mostly child players from all regions of the Czech Republic, participated.

Our newest paper is focusing on impact of cyberthreats on the teacher. You can download it from ScienceDirect.