Purpose In the face of the enormous rise in digital fraud and criminality, resulting in diverse afflictions to millions of user-victims, emanating from users’ horizontal interactive and transactive exchanges on the internet, but due significantly to internet’s deregulation and anonymity, this study aims to showcase the need for a socially grounded self-regulation. It holds, that this is feasible and that it can be achieved through large scale, comprehensive digital communication education programs. Design/methodology/approach The composite methodology of the study comprises four types of components, namely, analytic, exploratory-discursive, constructionist and propositional. The construction-creation element consists of the design of an original combinational research tool: triangular relational pattern. Through TRPs, researchers can locate the types of relations involved between three implicated entities, namely, the affliction, the culprit and the victim and can study them in-depth. Subsequently, based on the TRP, DCE programs are composed, which are, also, proposed to be deployed by educational authorities and digital civil society associations. Findings The created, applied here and proposed TRPs can be used by other researchers aiming to locate, map and analyze the variants of internet criminality and victimhood and their implications across the global frontierless world and in the digital human condition, educational purposes but also to create social cohesion. Originality/value The study offers two original contributions. The TRP as a significant relational research tool-grid. The DCE programs that are linked to the repertories of digital relations and can be introduced in the general education programs.
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DOI 10.1108/jices-03-2020-0029
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