Risk Factors in Computer-Crime Victimization

Risk Factors in Computer-Crime Victimization

Risk Factors in Computer-Crime Victimization

Risk Factors in Computer-Crime Victimization

Synopsis

Choi empirically assesses a computer-crime victimization model by applying Routine Activities Theory (RAT). He tests the components of RAT via structural equation modeling to assess the existence of any statistical significance between individual online lifestyles, the levels of computer security, and levels of individual computer-crime victimization. A self-report survey, which contained multiple measures of the risk factors and computer-crime victimization, was administered to 204 college students to gather data to test the model. The findings provide empirical supports for the components of RAT by delineating patterns of computer-crime victimization.

Excerpt

Everyday aspects of our lives are performed at the leading edge of technology, as society depends heavily on computer technology for almost everything in life. The rapid development of technology is also increasing the dependency on computer systems. Perhaps, we are currently living in two separate worlds: the physical world and the cyber-world. Even the level of connectedness with which people can be connected via high-speed Internet has altered the way we socialize. Individuals receive services, search for information, exchange customized text messages, and pay bills with a mobile phone browser. People are connected and socialize with others visiting videochatrooms and online games sites in cyberspace.

Thus, cybercrime has the potential to affect everyone’s daily activities. Today, computer criminals are using this increased dependency on technology as a prime opportunity to engage in illicit or delinquent behaviors. It is almost impossible to have precise statistics on the number of computer crimes and the monetary loss to victims because computer crimes are rarely detected by victims or reported to authorities (Standler, 2002). In addition, policing in cyberspace is very minimal at best (Britz, 2004). Moreover, computer criminals are becoming more sophisticated in their criminal behavior. Cybercrime has become a real threat to the quality of life. Few people have recognized the overall impact of computer crime. More importantly, people do not realize how they are constructing their online lifestyles through the constant usage of computer technology.

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