Abstract: The study which investigated the perception of students towards cybercrime in Nigeria was narrowed to students of River State University, Rivers State. No doubt, cybercrime has become topmost means at which students and youths see as a major means to get rich quickly. Technological Determinism Theory was adopted to give this study a footing. A cross-sectional survey research method was equally adopted while questionnaire was used to elicit data from respondents who are students of River State University. Accidental sampling technique was used to select the respondents. The data were analyzed in descriptive statistics (frequency and percentage). Findings show that majority of respondents 87% admitted that the urge to get rich quickly is one of the factors for cybercrime among youth, equally, and 65% of the respondents attributed high prevalent of cybercrime is caused by high rate of unemployment. The study recommended that government need to create employment opportunities for youth because idle hand is a Satan workshop.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Title Page i
Table of Contents vi
CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION
1.1 Background to the Study________________________________________1
1.2 Statement of the Problem _______________________________________3
1.3 Objectives of the Study_________________________________________4
1.4 Research Questions____________________________________________4
1.5 Significance of the Study________________________________________5
1.6 Scope of the Study____________________________________________6
1.7 Operational Definition of Terms _________________________________6
CHAPTER TWO: LITERATURE REVIEW
2.1 Conceptual Review___________________________________________20
2.2 Empirical Studies____________________________________________25
2.3 Theoretical Framework_______________________________________25
CHAPTER THREE: RESEARCH METHODOLOGY
3.1 Research Design____________________________________________33
3.2 Research Method___________________________________________33
3.3 Study Population_____________________________________________34
3.4 Sample Size ________________________________________________34
3.5 Sampling Technique _________________________________________34
3.6 Instrument for Data Collection__________________________________35
3.7 Validity and Reliability of Research Instrument_____________________35
3.8 Data Collection Process________________________________________36
3.9 Method of Data Analysis_______________________________________36
CHAPTER FOUR: DATA ANALYSIS AND DISCUSSION OF FINDINGS
4.1 Demographic Variables Analysis of Respondents____________________39
4.2 Analysis of Research Questions Related Variables___________________39
4.2 Discussion of Findings_________________________________________48
CHAPTER FIVE: SUMMARY, CONCLUSION, RECOMMENDATIONS AND LIMITATIONS
5.2. Conclusions ________________________________________________51
5.3 Recommendations ___________________________________________52
5.4 Limitations to the Study_______________________________________54
1.1 Background to the Study
The rapid growth of the internet in the 21st century across the globe has had tremendous changes in virtually every institution within different societies. These changes can however, be described in both positive and negative dimensions. Although, the positive dimension of internet revolution is fascinating, the negative dimensions are however overwhelming and often produces maladies that often threaten the social order of the society (Ibikunle & Eweniyi, 2013; Odumesi, 2014; (Okeshola & Adeta, 2013).
One of the negative outcomes of internet revolution across nations, especially in developing nations like Nigeria, is the growing prevalence of cybercrimes. In the view of Odumesi (2014) the rise in technology and online communications has not only produced a dramatic increase in the incidence of cybercrimes but has also resulted in the emergence of what appears to be a new variety of criminal activities. Cyber technology has transformed virtually all human activities including communication, travel, power, runtheeconomy, and obtains government services. Despite how many benefits that is associated with improved cyber technology, there have equally been some major disadvantages associated with it; one of them which is cybercrime.
As human activities become more dependent on technology, it equally poses serious threat to people’s lives and properties. Cybercrime is a global issue that has transcended various geographical boundaries, its development as changed forms overtime; it continues to evolve into divergent phases. According to Clough, (2015), dating back to the 60s until present, cybercrime is gradually updating as technology develops. In 1960, cybercrime focused on physical destruction of computer system parts and stored data. In the mid-1960s, the United States criminal abuse focused on databases and the related risks to privacy. In 1970s, traditional ways of committing crimes such as manual stealing was in place; however the innovation of computer modernized ways of stealing.
In 1980s, the number of computer systems increased, hence creating more potential targets for Cybercrimes. Yee, (2000) explains that internet access enables cybercriminals perpetrate crimes through the computer without being present at the crime scene. In the 1990s, a graphical interface “World Wide Web (WWW)” was introduced and this led to a tremendous growth in the number of Internet users, and this invention also welcomed new challenges in the cyber world. It means more advanced functions, more perpetrators and more victims were active within the cyber space (Clough, 2015).
Cybercrime according to Das and Nayak (2013) is a crime committed mostly by the individuals or organized groups; in which computers or computer networks are a tool, a target, or a place of criminal activity and include everything from electronic cracking to denial of service attacks. Cybercrimes also entails offences that are committed against individuals or groups of individuals with a criminal motive to intentionally harm the reputation of the victim or cause physical or mental harm to the victim directly or indirectly, using modern telecommunication networks such as internet (Chat rooms, emails, etc) and mobile phones (Muraina & Muraina, 2015). Examples of cyber-crime as contained in the work of Kshetri (2010) include: denial of service attacks, cyber-theft, cyber trespass, cyber obscenity, critical infrastructure attacks, online fraud, online money laundering, ID fraud, cyber terrorism, and cyber extortions.
Cybercrimes are not entirely new with its widespread; nor peculiar to developing nations like Nigeria. For instance, the first highly publicized cybercrimes occurred in November, 1988 in the United States (U.S.), when a 23-year old student, Robert Morris, launched a virus (“Morris Worm”) on the internet. Over 6,000 computers of the estimated 60,000 systems linked to the Internet at that time were infected and cost about $100 million to repair the infected systems. As a consequence, Morris got a sentence of 3 years’ probation and a $10,000 fine (Stambaugh, Beaupre, Icove, Baker, Cassaday & William, 2001). Cyber crime is when criminals use the computer or networks as a tool, place or target for criminal activity and behaviour. According to Shinder (2002) the origin of cyber crime can be traced back to the days without Microsoft windows, the Internet, or even the personal
Subsequently, cybercrime gradually evolved into serious global problem. For instance, in 2008, companies worldwide lost more than $1 trillion on intellectual property due to data theft and cybercrime (McAfee, 2009). Cybercrimes against people include cyber harassment and stalking, e-mail phishing, the dissemination of child pornography, various sorts of spoofing, credit card fraud, human trafficking, identity theft, and online connected libel or slander.
One of the most serious Cybercrimes nowadays is the trafficking, distribution, publishing, and dissemination of obscene material, such as pornography and indecent exposure. The potential harm to humanity from such a crime cannot be overstated. If not managed, this is one cybercrime that threatens to impair the progress of the younger generation as well as leave irreparable scars and injuries.
Cybercrime is any criminal activity that uses Information and Communication Technology (ICT) to commit crimes or where a computer or computer network is the object of the cybercriminal, according to the United Nations. Among other things, cybercrime may negatively affect the confidentiality, integrity and/or availability of computer data or systems. Some common types of cybercrime include fraudulent emails, identity theft, cyber harassment, spamming and ATM spoofing. Businesses and individuals in Nigeria lose over $500 million annually to cybercrime.
The high rate of cybercrime in Nigeria can be linked to the absence of sufficient laws to prevent and punish these crimes in the country. This problem can also be attributed to the facts that while technology has been advancing quickly, the laws addressing cybercrime have been lagging. Additionally, urbanization, greed and unemployment, especially among the youth, also adds fuel to the fire. When cybercrime becomes an easy option, it contributes to complacency among the youths who can live a life of cheating, without considering the moral implications of such actions.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Nowadays, over 80 per cent of businesses with online presence in Nigeria are susceptible to cyber-attacks and the increasing spate of cyber-criminal activities was threatening the Nigeria economy. Heargued that, web portals and web based applications of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Nigeria Stock Exchange, banks, pension fund administrators and switching/electronic payment companies had been found to be vulnerable to cyber-attacks due to inadequate security measures for safeguarding the platforms(Martins, 2008) Nigeria is also rated among one of the most corrupt countries of the world. The contribution of internet to the development of the nation has been marred by the evolution of new waves of crime. The internet has also become an environment where the most lucrative and safest crime thrives.
Cybercrime has become a global threat from Europe to America, Africa to Asia. Cybercrime has come as a surprise and a strange phenomenon that for now lives with us in Nigeria. With each passing day, we witness more and more alarming cases of cybercrimes in Nigeria, with each new case more shocking than the one before. Unfortunately, the country’s image has also suffered as a result of the unscripted activities of some Nigerians using the internet as a channel for the perpetration of criminal spamming activities. The major implication of the unconscious acceptance of this menace in the Nigerian society in the nearest future has created a high level of disinterest in education and touting among young people.
Computer applications are supposed to be leveraged upon to build the technical knowledge and skills of youths in various industries, Art and commerce; and importantly, in technological advancement. However, reverse has been the case with the Nigerian situation. It has been established by previous studies that cybercrimes among the students in higher institutions of learning have become very prevalent in many parts of Nigeria and occurs in daily bases. In Nigeria today, young people mostly students of higher institution of learning are the ones who engage in this form of anti-social behavior for the purpose of living a life of splendor.
The problem has often attracted the attention of the government, religious institutions and other concerned security agencies into devising measures and policies that could ameliorate this trend. For instance, the Cybercrime Act (2015) makes the provision that any individual or group of individuals found guilty of hacking or unlawful accessing of a computer system or network, are liable to a fine of up to ten million (N10 million) naira or a term of imprisonment of 5 years (depending on the purpose of the hack). Yet, the trend of cybercrime has seen a dramatic influx of many vibrant Nigeria students into more dynamic forms of cybercrimes and this poses a huge burden on the general society. Its effects on the reputation of the country and on the physical and mental well-being of victims cannot be overemphasized. This study therefore, intended to examine the perception of Students towards Cybercrime in Nigeria.
1.3 Objectives of the Study
The main study was to examine the perception of Students towards Cybercrime in Nigeria. The specific objectives are:
- To examine the extent to which Rivers State University students involve in cybercrime.
- To determine how Rivers State University students perceive cybercrime.
1.4 Research Questions
The following question guided the:-
- What is the extent of involvement of Rivers State University student in cybercrime?
- How does the Rivers State University student perceive cybercrime?
1.5 Significance of the Study
The study will be of great value to the Nigeria Students most especially, the student of Rivers State University because findings from the study will reveals offers them the opportunity to understand the perception of youths concerning cybercrime and various reasons for engagement. Findings from the study will provide the students an insight into the problems associated with cybercrime. The study would be of great benefit for students, because findings from the study will expose them to the factors that tend to cause young people’s involvement in cybercrime in Nigeria. The study will be of great benefit to the students because findings from the study will reveals to them the effect of cybercrime on student’s academic performance.
The study will be of great value to the Nigeria Government because findings from the study will uncover the menace and nefarious act of cybercrime and induce the Nigerian government to be more proactive in combating cybercrime. In addition, the information that was obtained from this study will be useful to security agencies and other stakeholders in preventing the perpetration of cybercrime. Also, the study will provide the government useful suggestions that could influence government decisions on how to address the issues of unemployment, poverty and corruption. The study would be useful to the government and related stakeholders to enable them adequately understand factors responsible for the continue spread of cybercrime among Nigerian youths and to the entire Nigerians.
1.6 Scope of the Study
This study which focused on the perception of student towards cybercrime in Nigeria was narrowed in scope to Rivers State University. Thus, the geographical scope of this study is within Rivers State. The choice of Rivers State University students is due to its proximity to the researcher, inadequate time to study all tertiary institutions in Nigeria among other logistics. However, the findings of this study will be generalized on all tertiary institution in Nigeria as students all over the country share the same characteristics.
1.7 Operational Definition of Terms
Perception: In this research, perception refers to the views of Rivers State University on cybercrime.
Cybercrime: In this research, cybercrime refers to the criminal act perpetrated through the internet (cyber) mostly by Rivers State University Students
Rivers State University Students: In this study, Rivers State University students are students of this Rivers State University usually between 100 level -400 level