Cyber Crime Victimization among Internet Active Nigerians: An Analysis of Socio- Demographic Correlates

By Ndubueze, Philip Nnameziri; Igbo, Emmanuel Uzodinma Mazindu et al. | International Journal of Criminal Justice Sciences, July-December 2013 | Go to article overview

Cyber Crime Victimization among Internet Active Nigerians: An Analysis of Socio- Demographic Correlates


Ndubueze, Philip Nnameziri, Igbo, Emmanuel Uzodinma Mazindu, Okoye, Uzoma Odera, International Journal of Criminal Justice Sciences


Introduction

Cyber crime has become a serious problem in Nigeria, culminating in the listing of Nigeria as third on the roll of the top ten cyber crime hot spots in the world by a 2009 Internet Crime Report (National White Collar Crime Centre and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, 2010). The seriousness of this problem can be better appreciated when we consider the fact that in spite of the several interventions made by Nigerian government and non-governmental organizations in tackling cyber crime, Nigeria has for four consecutive years (2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009) ranked third on the list of world cyber crime perpetrator countries (National White Collar Crime Centre and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, 2010). According to Odapu (2008), cyber crime is at an all time high in Nigeria as cyber café owners, hoteliers and landlords sometimes collaborate with perpetrators. Despite the efforts of law enforcement agencies to tackle it, cyber crime has become a growing social problem in Nigeria (Ribadu, 2007).

Writers and commentators have argued that full-scale organized cyber crime is fast emerging (Lusthans, 2013). "Systems that people rely upon, from bank to air defense radar, are accessible from cyberspace and can be quickly taken over and knocked out without first defeating a country's traditional defenses" (Clarke & Knake, 2010, p. 31). The growth of information technology and computer connectivity creates space for criminals to exploit security vulnerabilities in the cyber space (Broadhurst, 2006; Kigerl, 2012). Unfortunately, several functionalities of the modern day web browsers are not vulnerability-proof (Agbefu, Hori & Sakurai, 2013), thus exposing the average internet user to cyber crime victimization. With mobile telephony access made pretty easier over the past half a decade in Nigeria through the offering of internet services by virtually all Global System for Mobile Communication (GSM) service providers in Nigeria, the internet has pervaded the lives of many adult Nigerians.

With the increasing dependence on the internet for work, business and pass-time, the internet with all its associated challenges and risks has really come to stay in Nigeria. However, not so many in Nigeria are aware that the internet super high-way has been invaded by criminals and deviants who lurk around desperately looking for targets. Oftentimes, the unguarded, naïve and casual internet user fall prey to their antics. The problem of cyber crime victims is made worst by the seeming inability of law enforcement agents to effectively prosecute offenders. Clearly, law enforcement has not been able to keep up with technological advances to prevent cyber crime (Jaishankar, Pang & Hyde, 2008; Choi, 2006). Anti-hacking laws, because of their traditional approaches to crime containment, have been ineffective (Sharma, 2007). The issue of cyber crime victimization needs to be discussed in detail.

Various studies have explored the nature and extent of cyber crime and victimization (Bossler & Holt, 2010; Choi, 2008; Finn, 2004; Holt & Bossler, 2009; Halder & Jaishankar, 2010; Marcum, 2008; Ngo & Paternoster, 2011). Also there have been quite a number of Nigerian studies on cyber crime. One of the earlier studies by Longe and Chiemeke (2008) examined how access to the internet boosts criminality. Tade and Aliyu (2011) and Ojedokun and Eraye (2012), looked at the Nigerian university undergraduates involvement in internet crime and the benefits they believe that come from it. Other studies like Adeniran (2008) and Aransiola and Asindemade (2011), also focus on cyber crime in Nigeria. Adeniran (2008) argues that the advent of the internet technology in Nigeria has led to the modernization of fraud among the youth in that cyber fraud seems to have become accepted as a means of living for the Nigerian youth. He argued that this is more so for those who are of college age (Adeniran, 2011).

However, very few studies have been done on cyber crime victimization in Nigeria. …

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