Past studies suggest that computer security countermeasures such as security policies, systems, and awareness programs would be effective in preventing computer abuse in organizations. They are based on the general deterrence theory, which posits that when an organization implements countermeasures that threaten abusers, its computer abuse problems would be deterred. However, computer abuse problems persist in many organizations despite these measures. This article proposes a new model of computer abuse that extends the traditional model with the social criminology theories. Focusing on computer abuse within organizations, the model explains the phenomenon through social lenses such as social bonds and social learning. The new model contributes to our theoretical body of knowledge on computer abuse by providing a new angle for approaching the problem. It suggests to practitioners that both technical and social solutions should be implemented to reduce the pervasive computer abuse problems.
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