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Exploring the human factor in cyber-enabled and cyber-dependent crime victimisation: a lifestyle routine activities approach

Naci Akdemir (Department of Security Sciences, Gendarmerie and Coast Guard Academy, Ankara, Turkey)
Christopher James Lawless (Department of Sociology, Durham University, Durham, UK)

Internet Research

ISSN: 1066-2243

Article publication date: 25 June 2020

Issue publication date: 24 October 2020

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study was to explore human factors as the possible facilitator of cyber-dependent (hacking and malware infection) and cyber-enabled (phishing) crimes victimisation and to test the applicability of lifestyle routine activities theory (LRAT) to cybercrime victimisation.

Design/methodology/approach

A mixed methods research paradigm was applied to address the research questions and aims. The data set of Crime Survey of England and Wales (CSEW) 2014/2015 and 42 semi-structured interviews conducted with victims of cybercrime and non-victim control group participants were analysed via binary logistic regression and content analyses methods.

Findings

This research illustrated that Internet users facilitated their victimisation through their online activities. Additionally, using insecure Internet connections and public access computers emerged as risk factors for both cyber-enabled and cyber-dependent crime victimisation. Voluntary and involuntary personal information disclosure through social networking sites and online advertisement websites increased the likelihood of being a target of phishing. Deviant online activities such as free streaming or peer-to-peer sharing emerged to increase the risk of cyber-dependent crime victimisation.

Research limitations/implications

The binary logistic regression analysis results suggested LRAT as a more suitable theoretical framework for cyber-dependent crime victimisation. Future research may test this result with models including more macro variables.

Practical implications

Policymakers may consider implementing regulations regarding limiting the type of information required to login to free Wi-Fi connections. Checking trust signs and green padlocks may be effective safeguarding measures to lessen the adverse impacts of impulsive buying.

Originality/value

This study empirically illustrated that, besides individual-level factors, macro-level factors such as electronic devices being utilised to access the Internet and data breaches of large companies also increased the likelihood of becoming the victim of cyber-enabled and cyber-dependent crime.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The quantitative data analysed in this study were provided by UK Data Service.

Citation

Akdemir, N. and Lawless, C.J. (2020), "Exploring the human factor in cyber-enabled and cyber-dependent crime victimisation: a lifestyle routine activities approach", Internet Research, Vol. 30 No. 6, pp. 1665-1687. https://doi.org/10.1108/INTR-10-2019-0400

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2020, Emerald Publishing Limited

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