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Theories of Cybercrime


The internet could very well be today's most influential technological technology and continues to change lifestyle for virtually everyone on Earth. Millions of people are plugged into cyberspace, and hundreds more enter the online world every day. Not only gets the Internet revolutionized the way we connect to others and find out, it has forever changed just how we live. As internet and computer technologies continue steadily to thrive; crooks have found ways to make use of these solutions as a tool because of their deviant serves. Cybercrimes are a fresh breed of criminal offense that are perpetrated using computer systems, or are otherwise related to them. Cyber criminal offense is different plus more heinous than classic crime for the reason that the crime is committed through an electronic medium rendering it difficult to keep track of and identify the criminal. The most common types of cybercrime include cyber fraudulence, defamation, hacking, bullying, and phishing. Within the field of criminology, a number of theories can be found that attempt to explain why some individuals take part in deviant behavior, while others abstain from it. Although, these ideas were originally meant to explain crimes dedicated in the 'real world', they can be put on cybercrime. These ideas include public learning theory, low self-control theory, standard strain theory, irritation aggression hypothesis, boring activity theory, and situational crime elimination theory. This newspaper will analyze aspects of the above theories, for the purpose of experiencing which best explains the cause of cybercrime.

Akers' sociable learning theory is a general theory of offense and has been used to describe a diverse selection of unlawful behaviours. This work embodies within it four fundamental premises that include differential association, meanings, differential reinforcement and imitation (Burruss et al. , 2012). Community learning theory is based on the idea that folks develop motivations and skills to commit crime through the relationship with or exposure to others who get excited about offense (i. e. , associating with deviant peers). Akers's proposed that this exposure to deviant behavior provided people with definitions that have emerged as either approving of or neutralizing the behaviour. These definitions become rationalizations for bad guys when committing a offense. Differential reinforcement identifies the rewards that are associated with a specific criminal patterns. This criminal behavior is originally learned through the process of imitation, which occurs when individuals learn actions and action by seeing and listening to others. So, when an individual commits a criminal offenses, they're mimicking the actions they have seen others engage in (Burruss et al. , 2012). When it comes to cybercrime, research has found that public learning theory can describe the development and ongoing issue of software piracy. Within their study of software piracy, Burruss et al, discovered that individuals who associate with software piracy peers learn and subsequently acknowledge the deviant do. Software piracy requires a certain degree of skills and knowledge to gain access to and deviant peers to at first learn these skills from. Furthermore, the deviant individuals rationalize their unlawful behavior and assist in the fostering of your network that connects and shows other individuals these rationalizations and habit. The analysis also suggested that individuals will engage in software piracy when they see others experience positive reinforcement for his or her contribution (Burruss et al. , 2012). Not only does interpersonal control theory make clear for software piracy, components of this theory can be attributed in other cybercrimes. For instance in any offense, the rationalizations and skills must be learned and action is reinforced through the relationship and observation of others. Thus, the main idea behind sociable learning theory is that we become who we derive from our surroundings which explanation may be used to make clear cybercrime.

While sociable learning theory stresses the importance of exterior factors that affect criminal engagement, low self-control theory posits that low self-control is a key factor underlying criminality. This theory was actually developed by criminologists Michael Gottfredson and Travis Hirschi. They suggested that their self-control theory can describe all sorts of crimes, on a regular basis (Burruss et al. , 2012). Individuals with low self-control were characterized with being risk taking, short-sighted, impulsive and prefer easy and simple duties. These characteristics inhibit an individual's ability to effectively calculate the results of deviance. Matching to this theory, crime is seen as a way of obtaining immediate gratification, and the ability to wait such short-term wishes is linked to self-control. As a result, those with a propensity for legal involvement are thought to lack sufficient self-control. Also, people with low self-control work impulsively- without much thought and based on what they are sense at the moment. This makes them risk takers as they do not consider the results of their activities. Finally, low self-control people are centered on themselves and lack empathy towards others (Burruss et al. , 2012). Regarding to Gottfredson and Hirschi, low self-control originates in early socialization when parents are inadequate in their parenting. Therefore, neglecting and uncaring parents are likely to fail to socialize their child to properly hold off gratification, value the emotions of others, and restrain their impulses. Because of this, children with low levels of self-control finish up being more susceptible to crime, and their criminal propensity continues into later life. The characteristics of low self-control can be employed for some simple kinds of cybercrime, including software piracy. Within their research, Burruss et al, mentioned that degrees of low self-control are directly related to the action of software piracy. For instance, an individual is likely to perform software piracy because they are impulsive and struggling to wait to get a duplicate of the program. These individuals aren't apt to be empathetic to the copyright holder and disregard any responsibility. Further, they will tend to be drawn to the excitement and simple participating in software piracy. The study also found that low self-control has an effect on software piracy and this cultural learning theory measures (i. e. , associating with deviant peers and positive attitudes toward software piracy) condition this impact. Thus, from the characteristics of low self-control, people that have low levels of self-control will probably take part in deviant tendencies both on and offline because of their desire of immediate gratification.

Robert Agnew's standard strain theory proposes that strain brings about negative emotions, which may lead to a number of benefits, including delinquency. The specific strains talked about in the idea include the inability to achieve positively valued goals (e. g. , money), removing positively valued stimuli (e. g. , loss of a valued ownership), and the demonstration of negatively respected stimuli (e. g. , physical mistreatment) (Patchin & Hinduja, 2011). The first strain looks at the gap between the expectations of the individual and what they actually achieve, which causes disappointment and resentment. The next type of tension is caused whenever a positively appreciated stimulus is removed and the effect is delinquency. This legal habit may present itself as an attempt to ease or replace the stimuli. The final type of strain occurs when met with negative stimuli. This might cause delinquency as a means to terminate or steer clear of the negative stimuli (Patchin & Hinduja, 2011). Corresponding to Agnew, stress does not directly cause crime but rather promotes negative emotions like aggression and frustration. That is directly in conjunction with the frustration-aggression hypothesis by Yale college or university psychologists. They presumed that anger comes before irritation, and aggravation can express into both intense and non-aggressive action (Runions, 2013). In turn, these negative emotions necessitate coping replies as a way to relieve internal pressure. Coping via illegal behaviour and assault may be particularly true for adolescents for their limited resources and lack of ability to escape aggravating environments. Within their article, Patchin & Hinduja, figured general strain theory may be used to explain illegal patterns such as cyber bullying among junior.

Cyber bullying is a serious and growing problem occurring when youth use electronics to harass or intimidate their peers in a deliberate try to inflict immediate or indirect harm. There are a few unique elements in the digital environment that are not present offline, such as: anonymity, continuous connectivity, and permanence. This new technology allows patients to be attacked whenever and the anonymity of cyber bullies makes it difficult to identify them. Agnew argues that strain makes people feel angry, frustrated, depressed, and essentially creates pressure for corrective action for the victim. In response to this pressure, victims behave by attempting to have a corrective action as a way to ease the bad thoughts. Consequently for a few victims, cyber bullying is one corrective action that children usually takes to mitigate the bad thoughts (Patchin & Hinduja, 2011). Together, general tension theory and annoyance aggression hypothesis, provide an knowledge of how people, especially young ones, respond and deal with negative pressure, whether it could be to bully others or do deviant functions to alleviate any risk of strain.

Routine Activity Theory was developed by Cohen and Felson to formerly load the shortcomings in existing models that failed to adequately address offense rate trends since the end of World Battle II. They suggested that the tendencies of most victims is repeated and predictable and this the probability of victimization would depend on three elements: motivated offenders, suitable goals, and the absence of competent guardians (Reyns, 2013). The determined offender is someone inclined to commit a criminal offense if an opportunity presents itself. A suitable target is the one which the motivated offender ideals (e. g. , visa or mastercard information). Furthermore to these, a capable guardian includes whatever obstructs the offender's capability to acquire the mark (e. g. , antivirus, encryption). Along with the increasing use of the internet, crooks have found new opportunities to victimize their goals on a complete new platform. Analysts have found some support for making use of the tenets of regular activity theory to the study of cybercrime (Van Wilsem, 2011). People whose regular activities place them in situations where they have got the opportunity of interacting with offenders are at an increased threat of being victimized. Research has discovered that the quantity of time spent online, more use of internet bank and online purchases, and high-risk online behavior make people more suitable to offenders. Individuals with these actions will be targeted for identity theft. Furthermore, having less antivirus and network security (competent guardians) is associated with more victimization (Reyns, 2013). So, tedious activity theory can be used, to an amount, to describe certain types of cybercrime.

Situational crime avoidance is a crime reduction strategy that addresses specific offences by manipulating the environment in a manner that escalates the risk to the offender, while lowering the potential praise for committing the crime (Hinduja & Kooi, 2013). It is rooted in logical choice theory, daily habit activities theory, and criminal offenses design theory. Like other reduction measures, situational avoidance focuses on reducing crime opportunities rather than the crooks. This theory is different from other criminological ideas in that they don't look at why the offender did the crime, but instead how to prevent crime from altering the physical area where the criminal offenses occurs. Essentially, it looks for to help make the criminal act more challenging to commit in the first place. Like other key crime prevention procedures, situational prevention will focus on minimizing crime opportunities somewhat than on the characteristics of thieves or potential criminals. In regards to cybercrime, there are ways that space can be designed to prevent criminal offenses through: concentrate on hardening, access control, deflecting offenders, and managing facilitators (Hinduja & Kooi, 2013). Aim for hardening is the bodily (or digital) obstacles that reduce likelihood of criminal offenses, such as encrypting very sensitive information. Access control entails ways of prevent potential offenders from areas a crime can occur. This includes photography ID cards, passwords, and check-in booths. Deflecting offenders can be involved with initiatives to go potential offenders from their crime focuses on. For example, keeping valuable data off-site would deter potential offenders from searching for it. Handling facilitators involves looking at elements that may cause a crime, such as doing criminal background checks on employees or restricting unauthorized installations on computers (Hinduja & Kooi, 2013). Research has found that situational crime avoidance strategies may be used to reduce cyber stalking and other online victimization offences. Also, elimination strategies can be applied InfoSec to effectively protect the property of organizations from being exploited online (Hinduja & Kooi, 2013). Theoretically, if used effectively, the ideas of situational offense prevention seem to be able to prevent most types of cyber criminal offenses.

Computers and the internet have grown to be common place in the current population. This new technology has resulted in the introduction of a fresh form of criminal offense, cybercrime. I feel that criminal behavior cannot be explained completely by one theory; it needs the combination of varied theories. Different facets of every theory can be utilized in conjunction to compensate for what each individual theory failed to explain. For example, cultural learning theory is convinced that crime is learned through relationship with deviant peers and research has already shown that there is a relationship between the amount of deviant peers a person has and his or her contribution in software piracy (Burruss et al. , 2012). But, researchers have not reviewed whether communal learning theory pertains to all sorts of cybercrimes or just certain cybercrimes. On the other hand, low self control theory asserts that low self applied control is the reason for crime all the time. This can be true for some criminals, but many criminals, like those involved in white collar offences, do not abide by the principles of low home control. However, while self-control theory pays to in detailing why individuals may take action in a certain way, it does not describe the situations that must be met for a offense to occur. Routine activity theory identifies the situational factors that must definitely be present for a criminal offenses to occur. Its more difficult to apply this theory to cybercrime because the offender and sufferer do definitely not have to meet for the criminal offense to occur. Very much like low personal control theory, pressure theory maintains that whenever an individual cannot achieve his or her goals, she or he experience strain and consequently they may choose offense (Patchin & Hinduja, 2011). But, research workers could further study whether a person's strain in the 'real world' affects their deviant patterns in the digital world. So, a person's low self-control and negative tension combined with his or her deviant organizations and regular activities can increase a person's threat of being victimized online. Future studies of cybercrime victimization may draw benefit from using a combination of the ideas to explore the problem. Cybercrime research will be important to our knowledge of criminal offense as our culture becomes increasingly more dependent on technology.


Burruss, George W. , Bossler, Adam M. And Holt, Thomas J. (2012). Examining the mediation of an fuller communal learning model on low self-control's influence on software piracy. Crime and Delinquency, 59(5), 1157-1184

Hinduja, Sameer and Kooi, Brandon. (2013). Curtailing cyber and information security vulnerabilities through situational criminal offenses prevention. Security Journal, 26(4), 383-402

Patchin, Justin W. and Hinduja, Sameer. (2011). Traditional and non-traditional bullying among youth: A test of general strain theory. Children & Contemporary society, 43(2), 727-751.

Reyns, Bradford W. (2013). Online exercises and identity theft victimization: Further explaining regular activity theory beyond direct-control offenses. Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency, 50(2), 216-238

Runions, Kevin C. (2013). Toward a conceptual model of motive and self-control in cyber-aggression: Rage, reward and recreation. Journal of Youngsters and Adolescence, 42(5), 751-771.

Van Wilsem, Johan. (2011). Worlds linked alongside one another? Online and non-domestic boring activities and their effect on digital and traditional menace victimization. European Journal of Criminology, 8(2), 115-127

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