The Internet is a medium whose capabilities are used in many areas of life. Creating ample opportunities for transmissionof information, whether in the form of the written word, sound, image, facilitating networking and maintaining a large circle of newfriends, inviting them to participate in the three-dimensional games taking place in virtual reality, and providing an innovativeway for shopping or advertising, cyberspace brings unprecedented attractiveness. This feature, however, has become a causeof the increasing number of reports of disturbing, difficult to unambiguously classify, behaviour of people using the network.Among the indisputable advantages associated with allowing the use of Internet resources, emerge temptations and dangerslying in wait for its users from the dark side. This applies above all to people with an unformed world view, those with low levelsof knowledge or an underdeveloped personality. The high risk group are young people, shaping their view of the world based onknowledge acquired, also via the Internet. The problem of Internet abuse is the subject of discussion across many fields of scienceyet the phenomenon has not been clearly identified and defined. Increased awareness of the associated risks, and conclusionsmade at the level of research, make it necessary to define the concepts related to the phenomenon of pathological Internet useand adoption of uniform diagnostic criteria. There is also a need for the urgent implementation of preventive and therapeuticprograms, targeting people at risk of addiction to life in the virtual world.