On-line Activities, Guardianship, and Malware Infection: An Examination of Routine Activities Theory

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International Journal of Cyber Criminology


Malicious software, such as viruses and Trojan horse programs, can automate a variety of attacks for criminals and is partially responsible for the global increase in cybercrime. Criminology, however, has been slow to explore the theoretical causes and correlates of malware victimization. This study uses a routine activities framework to explore data loss caused by malware infection in a college sample. Similar to research on traditional forms of victimization, computer deviance was related with computer victimization. Physical guardianship, however, had little effect. Policy implications to decrease malware victimization in a college sample focus on decreasing computer deviance rather than physical target hardening.


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