Opportunities and risks of the internet in times of isolation

Faced with the increased use and consumption of the Internet during the health crisis by COVID-19, UNESCO Montevideo investigates the opportunities and risks of the Internet and provides key information to exercise responsible digital citizenship


The isolation measures adopted by the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean to deal with to the health emergency caused by COVID-19, meant that, since March 2020, thousands of people have remained isolated in their homes and have been making massive use of the internet .

In Argentina, only a few days after the beginning of the isolation measures, the internet traffic increased by 22-25%; in Ecuador by 30% and in Colombia by 40% (IDB, April 2020). These figures proved that the need to give continuity to work and education, to keep in touch with family and friends, and to be more and better informed in real time, have turned the digital environment into an everyday space.

In the midst of the current health crisis, whereas technology seems to be offering us new opportunities, the increased use of the internet by children, adolescents and adults may mean greater exposure to the risks posed by the digital environment. Within this context, the UNESCO Montevideo Office, in a joint endeavour by its Education and Communication and Information Sectors, and its Science, Technology and Innovation Policies Programme, developed the tool "Risks and Opportunities of the Internet in Times of Isolation".

The goal is to contribute to the identification and understanding of the actual opportunities and risks of the digital world, and to highlight the skills and good practices one needs to develop in order to be able to navigate, be informed and communicate safely, in a responsible, creative and participatory manner.