When cybercrimes strike undergraduates

Morvareed Bidgoli, Bart P. Knijnenburg, Jens Grossklags

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

9 Scopus citations


Cybercrimes can cause various kinds of harm to those affected. This paper focuses on how cybercrimes impact undergraduate students, a group particularly vulnerable to cybercrimes due to their extensive use of technology and their recently gained financial responsibility and social independence. We present a mixed methods study to understand students' knowledge, perceptions, and behaviors regarding cybercrimes. 10 semi-structured interviews provided the groundwork for a theoretical model, which was subsequently tested on a sample of 222 survey responses. We found that roughly half of the undergraduate students in our studies have experienced one or more cybercrimes while in college, with malware, hacking, and phishing being the most prominently experienced cybercrimes. Furthermore, we found that students acquire their knowledge of cybercrimes predominantly through people they personally know who have been victimized by a cybercrime and the media. Our model shows how students' knowledge of cybercrimes and their self-control in using the Internet influences their perceived cybercrime self-efficacy and their fear of cybercrimes. Self-efficacy and fear, in turn, influence their tendency to take preventative measures to avoid enabling behaviors and to report cybercrimes to the appropriate entities. We also find that despite the reported importance of adequate cybercrime reporting and access to comprehensive cybercrime statistics, the majority of students do not know how to officially report a cybercrime.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 2016 APWG Symposium on Electronic Crime Research, eCrime 2016
PublisherIEEE Computer Society
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)9781509029228
StatePublished - Jun 8 2016
Event2016 APWG Symposium on Electronic Crime Research, eCrime 2016 - Toronto, Canada
Duration: Jun 1 2016Jun 3 2016

Publication series

NameeCrime Researchers Summit, eCrime
ISSN (Print)2159-1237
ISSN (Electronic)2159-1245


Other2016 APWG Symposium on Electronic Crime Research, eCrime 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Information Systems
  • Information Systems and Management


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