Cyber-Crime Fear and Victimization: An Analysis of a National Survey
AdvisorWood, Peter B.
CommitteeDunaway, R. Gregory
Jones, James D.
Kerley, Kent R.
The aim of this study was to investigate cyber-crime victimization among Internet users in the United States by: 1) assessing the factors that impact computer virus victimization; 2) assessing the factors that impact cyber-crime victimization; and 3) predicting fear of cyber-crime. Two domains in criminology were applied to the study of cyber-crime phenomenon: routine activity theory, and the fear of crime literature. Three independent models were developed to predict computer virus victimization, cyber-crime victimization, and fear of cyber-crime. Measures of routine activity theory applied to cyber-crime victimization include risk exposure, and suitable targets were created. A more reliable measure of fear of cyber-crime was created, and a measure of perceived seriousness of cyber-crime was created. The 2004 National Cyber Crime Victimization Survey dataset was used in this project. Logistic Regression and OLS Regression were utilized to predict computer virus victimization, cyber-crime victimization, and fear of cyber-crime.The findings of this study indicate that routine activity theory was a powerful predictor of computer virus victimization and cyber-crime victimization. That is, risk exposure and suitable targets helped determine the victimization. The study also found that cyber-crime victimization, gender, and perceived seriousness were predictive of fear of cyber-crime. Discussion of the findings and theoretical and policy implications were offered.