Applying Criminological Theories to Cyber Crime


The internet is conceivably today’s best affecting abstruse apparatus and continues to change circadian action for around anybody on Earth. Millions of bodies are acquainted into cyberspace, and bags added admission the online apple every day. Not alone has the Internet revolutionized the way we collaborate with others and learn, it has always afflicted the way we live. As internet and computer technologies abide to thrive; abyss admission begin agency to use these technologies as a apparatus for their aberrant acts. Cybercrimes are a new brand of abomination that are perpetrated application computers, or are contrarily accompanying to them. Cyber abomination is altered and added abhorrent than accepted abomination in that the abomination is committed through an cyberbanking average which makes it difficult to clue and assay the criminal. The best accepted types of cybercrime accommodate cyber fraud, defamation, hacking, bullying, and phishing. Aural the acreage of criminology, a cardinal of theories abide that attack to explain why some bodies appoint in aberrant behavior, while others abjure from it. Although, these theories were originally meant to explain crimes committed in the ‘real world’, they can still be activated to cybercrime. These theories accommodate amusing acquirements theory, low abstemiousness theory, accepted ache theory, annoyance assailment hypothesis, accepted action theory, and situational abomination blockage theory. This cardboard will assay aspects of the aloft theories, for the purpose of seeing which best explains the account of cybercrime.

Akers’ amusing acquirements approach is a accepted approach of abomination and has been acclimated to explain a assorted arrangement of bent behaviours. This assignment embodies aural it four axiological bounds that accommodate cogwheel association, definitions, cogwheel accretion and apery (Burruss et al., 2012). Amusing acquirements approach is based on the abstraction that individuals advance motivations and abilities to accomplish abomination through the affiliation with or acknowledgment to others who are complex in abomination (i.e., advertence with aberrant peers). Akers’s proposed that this acknowledgment to aberrant behavior provided individuals with definitions that are apparent as either acknowledging of or acrid the behaviour. These definitions become rationalizations for abyss back committing a crime. Cogwheel accretion refers to the rewards that are associated with a accurate bent behavior. This bent behavior is originally abstruse through the action of imitation, which occurs back individuals apprentice accomplishments and behavior by watching and alert to others. So, back an alone commits a crime, he or she is artful the accomplishments that they admission apparent others appoint in (Burruss et al., 2012). In commendations to cybercrime, analysis has begin that amusing acquirements approach can explain the development and advancing affair of software piracy. In their abstraction of software piracy, Burruss et al, begin that individuals who accessory with software piracy aeon apprentice and after admission the aberrant conduct. Software piracy requires a assertive bulk of abilities and adeptness to admission and aberrant aeon to originally apprentice these abilities from. Furthermore, the aberrant individuals rationalize their bent behavior and advice in the adopting of a arrangement that connects and teaches alternative individuals these rationalizations and behavior. The abstraction additionally appropriate that individuals are added acceptable to appoint in software piracy back they see others adventures absolute accretion for their accord (Burruss et al., 2012). Not alone does amusing ascendancy approach explain for software piracy, elements of this approach can be attributed in alternative cybercrimes. For archetype in any crime, the rationalizations and abilities charge be abstruse and behavior is able through the affiliation and ascertainment of others. Thus, the capital abstraction abaft amusing acquirements approach is that we become who we are based on our ambience and this account can be acclimated to explain cybercrime.

While amusing acquirements approach emphasizes the accent of alien factors that admission bent involvement, low abstemiousness approach posits that low abstemiousness is a key agency basal criminality. This approach was originally developed by criminologists Michael Gottfredson and Travis Hirschi. They proposed that their abstemiousness approach can explain all types of crimes, all the time (Burruss et al., 2012). Individuals with low abstemiousness were characterized with actuality accident taking, short-sighted, abrupt and adopt simple and accessible tasks. These characteristics arrest an individual’s adeptness to accurately account the after-effects of deviance. According to this theory, abomination is apparent as a agency of accepting absolute gratification, and the adeptness to adjournment such concise desires is affiliated to self-control. As such, those with a adeptness for bent captivation are anticipation to abridgement acceptable self-control. Also, bodies with low abstemiousness act impulsively- after abundant anticipation and based on what they are action at the moment. This makes them accident takers as they do not accede the after-effects of their actions. Finally, low abstemiousness bodies are focused on themselves and abridgement affinity appear others (Burruss et al., 2012). According to Gottfredson and Hirschi, low abstemiousness originates in aboriginal socialization back parents are abortive in their parenting. Therefore, apathy and blah parents are acceptable to abort to associate their adolescent to appropriately adjournment gratification, affliction about the animosity of others, and arrest their impulses. As a result, accouchement with low levels of abstemiousness end up actuality added decumbent to crime, and their bent adeptness continues into after life. The characteristics of low abstemiousness can be activated to some simple forms of cybercrime, including software piracy. In their study, Burruss et al , declared that levels of low abstemiousness are anon accompanying to the act of software piracy. For instance, an alone is acceptable to accomplish software piracy because they are abrupt and clumsy to delay to acquirement a archetype of the software. These individuals are not acceptable to be compassionate to the absorb holder and carelessness any responsibility. Further, these individuals are acceptable to be admiring to the adventure and affluence of agreeable in software piracy. The abstraction additionally begin that low abstemiousness does admission an aftereffect on software piracy and that amusing acquirements approach measures (i.e., advertence with aberrant aeon and absolute attitudes against software piracy) action this effect. Thus, from the characteristics of low self-control, those with low levels of abstemiousness are acceptable to participate in aberrant behavior both on and offline because of their admiration of absolute gratification.

Robert Agnew’s accepted ache approach proposes that ache leads to abrogating emotions, which may advance to a cardinal of outcomes, including delinquency. The specific strains discussed in the approach accommodate the abortion to accomplish absolutely admired goals (e.g., money), the abatement of absolutely admired stimuli (e.g., accident of a admired possession), and the presentation of abnormally admired stimuli (e.g., concrete abuse) (Patchin & Hinduja, 2011). The aboriginal ache looks at the gap amid the expectations of the alone and what they absolutely achieve, which leads to disappointment and resentment. The additional blazon of ache is acquired back a absolutely admired bang is removed and the aftereffect is delinquency. This bent behavior may present itself as an attack to affluence or alter the stimuli. The final blazon of ache occurs back confronted with abrogating stimuli. This may account abomination as a agency to abolish or abstain the abrogating stimuli (Patchin & Hinduja, 2011). According to Agnew, ache does not anon account abomination but rather promotes abrogating affections like assailment and frustration. This is anon in affiliation with the frustration-aggression antecedent by Yale university psychologists. They believed that acrimony comes afore frustration, and annoyance can apparent into both advancing and non-aggressive behavior (Runions, 2013). In turn, these abrogating affections necessitate arresting responses as a way to abate centralized pressure. Arresting via actionable behaviour and abandon may be abnormally accurate for adolescents because of their bound assets and disability to escape arresting environments. In their article, Patchin & Hinduja, assured that accepted ache approach can be acclimated to explain actionable behavior such as cyber blowing amid youth.

Cyber blowing is a austere and growing botheration that occurs back adolescence use electronics to annoy or alarm their aeon in a advised attack to administer absolute or aberrant harm. There are some different elements in the agenda ambience that are not present offline, such as: anonymity, connected connectivity, and permanence. This new technology allows victims to be attacked at anytime and the anonymity of cyber bullies makes it difficult to assay them. Agnew argues that ache makes bodies feel angry, frustrated, depressed, and about creates burden for antidotal action on the allotment of the victim. In acknowledgment to this pressure, victims acknowledge by absent to booty a antidotal action as a agency to allay the bad feelings. Consequently for some victims, cyber blowing is one antidotal action that adolescents adeptness booty to abate the bad animosity (Patchin & Hinduja, 2011). Together, accepted ache approach and annoyance assailment hypothesis, accommodate an compassionate of how people, abnormally youth, acknowledge and accord with abrogating strain, whether it may be to annoyer others or do aberrant acts to allay the strain.

Routine Action Approach was developed by Cohen and Felson to originally ample the shortcomings in absolute models that bootless to abundantly abode abomination bulk trends back the end of Apple War II. They appropriate that the behavior of best victims is repetitive and anticipated and that the likelihood of abuse is abased on three elements: motivated offenders, acceptable targets, and the absence of able guardians (Reyns, 2013). The motivated blackmailer is accession accommodating to accomplish a abomination if an befalling presents itself. A acceptable ambition is one that the motivated blackmailer ethics (e.g., acclaim agenda information). In accession to these, a able guardian includes annihilation that obstructs the offender’s adeptness to admission the ambition (e.g., antivirus, encryption). With the accretion use of the internet, abyss admission begin new opportunities to bamboozle their targets on a accomplished new platform. Advisers admission begin some abutment for applying the credo of accepted action approach to the abstraction of cybercrime (Van Wilsem, 2011). Bodies whose approved activities abode them in situations area they admission the achievability of interacting with offenders are at an added accident of actuality victimized. Analysis has begin that the bulk of time spent online, added use of internet cyberbanking and online purchases, and chancy online behavior accomplish bodies added acceptable to offenders. Individuals with these accomplishments are added acceptable to be targeted for character theft. Furthermore, the abridgement of antivirus and arrangement aegis (capable guardians) is associated with added abuse (Reyns, 2013). So, accepted action approach can be used, to an extent, to explain assertive types of cybercrime.

Situational abomination blockage is a abomination blockage action that addresses specific crimes by manipulating the ambiance in a way that increases the accident to the offender, while abbreviation the abeyant accolade for committing the abomination (Hinduja & Kooi, 2013). It is abiding in rational best theory, accepted activities theory, and abomination arrangement theory. Like alternative blockage measures, situational blockage focuses on abbreviation abomination opportunities rather than the criminals. This approach differs from alternative criminological theories in that they do not attending at why the blackmailer did the crime, but rather how to anticipate abomination from altering the concrete ambience area the abomination takes place. Essentially, it seeks to accomplish the bent act added difficult to accomplish in the aboriginal place. Like alternative primary abomination blockage measures, situational blockage tends to focus on abbreviation abomination opportunities rather than on the characteristics of abyss or abeyant criminals. In commendations to cybercrime, there are agency in which amplitude can be advised to anticipate abomination through: ambition hardening, admission control, deflecting offenders, and authoritative facilitators (Hinduja & Kooi, 2013). Ambition hardening is the absolute concrete (or digital) barriers that abate affairs of crime, such as encrypting acute information. Admission ascendancy involves strategies to anticipate abeyant offenders from areas that a abomination can occur. This includes photo ID cards, passwords, and check-in booths. Deflecting offenders is anxious with initiatives to move abeyant offenders abroad from their abomination targets. For example, autumn admired abstracts off-site would avert abeyant offenders from analytic for it. Authoritative facilitators involves blockage elements that may account a crime, such as accomplishing accomplishments checks on advisers or akin crooked installations on computers (Hinduja & Kooi, 2013). Analysis has begin that situational abomination blockage strategies can be acclimated to abate cyber stalking and alternative online abuse crimes. Also, blockage strategies can be activated InfoSec to finer assure the assets of organizations from actuality exploited online (Hinduja & Kooi, 2013). Theoretically, if acclimated effectively, the attempt of situational abomination blockage assume to be able to anticipate best types of cyber crime.

Computers and the internet admission become accepted abode in today’s society. This new technology has resulted in the development of a new anatomy of crime, cybercrime. I anticipate that bent behavior cannot be explained absolutely by one theory; it requires the aggregate of assorted theories. Altered aspects of anniversary approach can be acclimated in affiliation to atone for what anniversary alone approach bootless to explain. For example, amusing acquirements approach believes that abomination is abstruse through affiliation with aberrant aeon and analysis has already apparent that there is a accord amid the cardinal of aberrant aeon an alone has and his or her accord in software piracy (Burruss et al., 2012). But, advisers admission not advised whether amusing acquirements approach applies to all types of cybercrimes or aloof assertive cybercrimes. On the alternative hand, low cocky ascendancy approach asserts that low cocky ascendancy is the account of abomination all the time. This may be accurate for some criminals, but abounding criminals, like those complex in white collar crimes, do not attach to the attempt of low cocky control. However, while abstemiousness approach is advantageous in answer why individuals may act in a assertive way, it does not explain the situations that charge be met for a abomination to occur. Accepted action approach describes the situational factors that charge be present for a abomination to occur. It is added difficult to administer this approach to cybercrime because the blackmailer and victim do not necessarily admission to accommodated for the abomination to occur. Similar to low cocky ascendancy theory, ache approach maintains that back an alone cannot accomplish his or her goals, he or she adventures ache and as a aftereffect they may about-face to abomination (Patchin & Hinduja, 2011). But, advisers could added abstraction whether an individual’s ache in the ‘real world’ affects their aberrant behavior in the basic world. So, an individual’s low abstemiousness and abrogating ache accumulated with his or her aberrant associations and approved activities can access an individual’s accident of actuality victimized online. Future studies of cybercrime abuse may draw account from application a aggregate of these theories to analyze the problem. Cybercrime analysis will be important to our compassionate of abomination as our affiliation becomes added and added abased on technology.


Burruss, George W., Bossler, Adam M. And Holt, Thomas J. (2012). Assessing the arbitration of a fuller amusing acquirements archetypal on low self-control’s admission on software piracy. Crime and Delinquency, 59(5), 1157-1184

Hinduja, Sameer and Kooi, Brandon. (2013). Curtailing cyber and advice aegis vulnerabilities through situational abomination prevention. Security Journal, 26(4), 383-402

Patchin, Justin W. and Hinduja, Sameer. (2011). Acceptable and non-traditional blowing amid youth: A analysis of accepted ache theory. Youth & Society, 43(2), 727-751.

Reyns, Bradford W. (2013). Online routines and character annexation victimization: Added answer accepted action approach above direct-control offenses. Journal of Analysis in Abomination and Delinquency, 50(2), 216-238

Runions, Kevin C. (2013). Against a conceptual archetypal of motive and abstemiousness in cyber-aggression: Rage, accolade and recreation. Journal of Adolescence and Adolescence, 42(5), 751-771.

Van Wilsem, Johan. (2011). Worlds angry together? Online and non-domestic accepted activities and their appulse on agenda and acceptable blackmail victimization. European Journal of Criminology, 8(2), 115-127

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