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Durham e-Theses
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Understanding the Individual Level and Macro Level Causes of Economic Cybercrime Victimisation in the UK: A Contextual Vulnerabilities Approach to Examine Cybercrime Victimisation

AKDEMIR, NACI (2019) Understanding the Individual Level and Macro Level Causes of Economic Cybercrime Victimisation in the UK: A Contextual Vulnerabilities Approach to Examine Cybercrime Victimisation. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.

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This thesis applying a mixed methods research paradigm discerns the individual and macro level factors facilitating economic cybercrime victimisation in the UK. Understanding and exploring the adverse impacts of economic cybercrime victimisation on victims’ online lifestyles, psychological well-being and protection motivation are other goals of this research. To these ends, semi-structured interviews were conducted with thirty-two victims of economic cybercrime, ten non-victim control group participants and ten cybercrime experts.
The extant cybercrime victimisation studies utilised Lifestyle Routine Activities Theory (LRAT), the latest version of the Opportunity Theories of the Victimisation Perspective, as a theoretical framework. However, the applicability of LRAT to cybercrime research is questionable (Yar, 2005) since the theory was originally proposed to explain traditional crime victimisation occurring in the physical world. This thesis critically evaluates the transposition of key LRAT concepts to cybercrime research and proposes The Contextual Vulnerabilities Approach to better understand the causes of economic cybercrime victimisation.
Protection Motivation Theory (PMT) and Approach-Avoidance Paradigm were also utilised as a conceptual framework while examining the adverse impacts of victimisation experiences on Internet users’ behavioural adaptation and security intentions. The Integrated Cyber Victimisation Model (ICVM) was built based on the empirical findings of this thesis to examine cybercrime victimisation holistically and understand the adverse consequences of victimisation.
Past cybercrime victimisation research utilising LRAT as a theoretical framework explicitly put the onus of the victimisation on victims’ shoulders. The findings of this thesis suggest that most victims faced economic cybercrime victimisation due to the congruence of the contextual factors that are beyond their controls. Technological vulnerabilities and data breaches of large companies holding personal information of the Internet users are macro vulnerabilities identified. Fear of crime, perceived severity, perceived vulnerability and self-efficacy emerged as the cognitive factors affecting Internet users’ protection motivation and behavioural adaptation.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Keywords:Economic cybercrime, cybercrime, victimisation, cyber victimology, Lifestyle Routine Activities Theory, Protection Motivation Theory, Approach-Avoidance Coping Paradimg
Faculty and Department:Faculty of Social Sciences and Health > Sociology, Department of
Thesis Date:2019
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:08 Oct 2019 14:32

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