Cyber Crime In Colleges
The aim of this study was to examine the perception of the impact of cybercrime in colleges in Nigeria using university of Calabar as a study. In this research study, we found out people’s reaction to messages depends mainly on how it is perceived. To achieve the aim of the study, literature was reviewed. Survey research method was used in which questionnaire, the major instrument, was distributed to various respondents in the execution of the study. Samples were selected using the systematic random sampling techniques. Chi-square and simple percentages was used in analyzing data. Internet is used as a channel for the perpetration of criminal spamming activities was the finding drawn. Finally, Cyber laws should be made to govern the country’s cyber space and give the nation’s adequate cyber security was the recommendation gotten based on the finding drawn.
1.1 Background of Study
Crime remains pervasive and forever strives to hide itself in terms of communication i.e in a manner that the perception of individual in information dissemination online is at risks and in the face of development. As measures and techniques for detecting crimes and criminals advance, criminals also look for means of hiding from these measures.
Obano (2007:17) asserts that the internet is a platform where information can be pass to different audience but now, the internet currently serve as a hiding place for fraudsters who have simply migrated from the streets to an electronic platform.
Okonigini (2002:25) defines computer crime as criminal activities, involving information technology infrastructure, including illegal access of computer data from or within a computer.
Although, cybercrime is being perpetrated all across the world, Nigeria has become a fertile ground for such nefarious activities. According to a report by Internet Crime Complain Centre (2010), Nigeria ranked third among the top 10 countries of the world in cybercrime perpetration. The global view of Nigeria as a country has been dampened by the activities of these “yahoo boys”. Cybercrime has taken us aback in Nigeria and the world over (Ayoku 2005). The cyberspace is now a hiding platform for criminals to execute their dastardly acts, (Akinola 2006). Through this platform, fraudsters have been given a tool that facilitates their contact with potential victims and makes it harder to trail, unlike the crude methods of crimes (Longe&Chiemeke, 2008). The degree of vagueness which the internet provides for users has influenced cyber criminal operations in Nigeria (Wang 2007). Nigerian youths have embraced these ICT inventions in their usual mobile telephony and global telecasts such as Facebook, Skype, Twitter, 2go, Whatsapp and Blackberry pinging etc. As the internet continues to expand and become indispensable in our communication and social life, the inevitable inference will be that, our society is going to be increasingly dependent on fragile and insecure information structure (Adeniran 2006).
Different nations have adopted different strategies to contend with crimes depending on their nature and extent. Certainly, a nation with high incidence of crime do have a big problem in information dissemination in the cyberspace and therefore cannot grow or develop. For Nigeria, a nation in the process of saving her face regarding cyber crimes, efforts are now being directed at the sources and channels through which cyber crimes are being perpetuated the most. [Chiemeke, 2008:32)].
Obviously, the initial intent for advancing Internet for man on planet earth was not to perpetuate crimes, but wiring the world together through ICT has automatically merged the GARDEN and the WILDERNESS. The activities of cybercriminals on the internet are casting a dark shadow on the comfort, convenience and reliability of internet users. For Sylvester (2001), cybercrimes thrives on the Web because the Internet mechanism does not allow a user to selectively reject messages. Thus making him or her susceptible to malicious and unwanted messages capable of causing havoc. Therefore, the internet is free for all, no identity, no boundary, and its breeds cybercrime (Agboola, 2006).
It is difficult to deny youth support of the menace with yahooze shirts, yahooze dance steps, yahooze songs from the likes of Olu Maintain. Even some young people identify themselves as yahoo boys and girls.
Similarly, Martins (2008:43) notes that the paramount classification of yahooism as a branch of cyber crime and transitional crime is not only expedient in understanding its mystery, but propounding a lasting solution when considering curbing the menace. The above background is the foundation upon which this study and its essence are rested.
1.2 Statement of Problem
Computerization significantly eases the performance of many tasks. For example, the speed and ability to communicate with people is fostered by the Internet, a worldwide network that is used to send communiques and provide access to the world-wide web. But this same speed and ability to communicate also opens the door to criminal conduct. Cyber crime plays a significant role in the criminal law of the information age.
The rate of cyber criminality has become a disturbing phenomenon as individuals report cases of scam text messages about winning ‘promos’ and scam emails on tempting and attractive business proposals (State CID, 2012) A typical example of such scam text message sent to a student of the Department of Mass Communication, Cross River University of Technology(crutech), Calabar on the 2nd of October, 2015 read as follows, “Your cell number has been awarded #10,000,000 in the ongoing Nokia promo, for claims send your name, account number to email@example.com”. Many may have fallen victims to such scams. The frequent occurrence of these cases and how people fall victims instigated the quest to find out if becoming a victim of cybercrime or not depends on the level of awareness on cybercrime activities.
The problem of cyber crimes in Nigerian is an off shoot of other numerous problems confronting the nation. Some of these problems are caused by mismanagement on the parts of the leading elites, while some others are caused by lack of value orientation on part of citizens. The get rich quick syndrome and our crave for materialism have surfaced through various factors and facets. Hard work is not rewarded in Nigerian. The rich is worshiped and followed without questioning the source of the wealth. This has led to moral earthquake among the citizens.
Internet usage in Nigeria has grown rapidly resulting in the explosion of Internet Service Providers (ISPS) and Internet Access Point creating an increase in the positive impacts on the socio-economic and educational developments in the country.
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 dissemination of information in 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 the authenticity of communication sources, education and touting among young people
In Nigeria today, young people mostly youths are the ones who engage in this form of anti-social behaviour for the purpose of living a life of splendour.
In recent times Nigeria has been labelled as a corrupt nation. There is a need for the Nigerian government to do something fast and urgent to curb this menace of cyber crime. The question is, is it that the traditional values of our country cannot find a place in the hearts of our youths utilizing the internet? Or is it that the government of Nigeria has become so helpless that nothing can be done about unreliable and harmful communication for the purpose of commiting crimes in the internet?
To answer these questions and to generally evaluate the impact of cybercrimes on information dissemination in Calabar, this study is undertaken.
1.3 Objectives of the Study
The aim of this study is to examine the impact of cybercrimes on communication among Nigeria undergraduates using University of Calabar as a case study.
Specifically, the following will be the objective of this study:
- To find out how Nigerian youths perceive cybercrime.
- To find out how the Cross River State Government has been curbing cybercrime among Nigeria youths resident in Calabar.
- To ascertain the factors that tends to cause young people’s involvement in cybercrime in Nigeria in general and Calabar in particular.
- To ascertain how cybercrime affect credibility of information through the internet.
1.4 Research Questions
The following research questions have been formulated to guide this study:
- How do Nigerian youths perceive cybercrime?
- How has the Cross River State Government been curbing cybercrime among youths and the general public in Calabar?
- What are the factors that tend to cause people’s involvement in cybercrime in Nigeria in general and Calabar in particular?
- How do cybercrimes affect credibility of information through the internet?
1.5 Significance of the Study
This study, which is primarily aimed at explaining how cybercrime has impacted on the perception of youths in the society, will provide an insight into the problems associated with cybercrime.
This report would be of great benefit for youths, to expose them to the factors that tend to cause young people’s involvement in cybercrime in Nigeria.
It would be useful to the government and related stakeholders to enable them adequately understand factors responsible for and how to curb the continue spread of cybercrime among Nigerian youths [and the general public].
The findings will be useful for researchers to further generate knowledge in the field.
1.6. Scope of the Study
This study focused on the perception of cybercrime on communication among Nigerian youths, using youths in Calabar as the study group.
1.7. Limitation of the Study
A major limitation of the group is the samples were only from Calabar South in Calabar where it was chosen as the area in carrying out this research.
This finding is based on the results gathered from Calabar South youths on the perception of cybercrime on communication among Nigerian youths.
1.8 Definition of Terms
Calabar youth’s attitude towards cybercrime among Nigerian youths.
The use of computers, information systems or the internet by the Nigerian youths.
The display of illegal act characterized by decent, contentment or violation of trust of the youths.
The use of computers, information systems or the internet for illegal act characterized by decent, contentment or violation of trust of the youths
The stage between a child and becoming an adult.
Summary, Conclusion and Recommendations
The study examined public perception of cybercrimes on communication among college students in Calabar metropolis in focus. The study made use of survey method of research, while the questionnaire was used as research instrument and the Taro Yamane formular was used to derive a sample size of 395 respondents. The study observed how youths perceived cybercrimes and communication through the internet and how cross river government can curb the continued spread of cybercrime among youth.
Following the answers gotten from the research questions, the study contends that cybercrimes has a negative impact on information dissemination through the internet and affect credibility of information of sources through the internet. And finally, also supports that the cross river government can curb the continued spread of cybercrimes among youth in calabar and the general public.
Based on the findings of the study, the following conclusions were reached.
- The understanding of the universality of cybercrimes and fraud and its rapid excessive growth among Nigerian youth is important to boost the country’s economy.
- Having a sound Socio- Economic and Technological Environment to avoid the existence of cybercrime in our society.
- There is a need for a massive campaign awareness and action from all Religions Leaders, Youth association, Parents, Teachers, Guardians, and Multinational Companies. etc.
- It shows a relationship between male and female perception about cybercrimes. Awareness of cybercrime among the respondents was high as shown in the findings.
- Majority of the respondents perceive cybercrime among Nigerian youth as very poor which represents 34.1% of the total respondents.
Other nations are racing to define their “information utility” based on educational and commercial content; Nigerian has been labeled the global capital for 419 scams. Based on the findings of this of this study, the following recommendations are hereby put forward:
- As a matter of urgency, government and other related stakeholder and other key player of the Nigerian Economy should try and create more job opportunities for our young graduates in order to alleviate their involvement in negative societal behavior.
- The massive campaign and sensitization exercise against the menace should be encouraged and supported by stakeholders.
- A better economic system, creation of opportunities for the young Nigerian, would also make a lot differences. Since it was observed that majority of the respondents perceived the involvement of young people in cybercrime as a result of economic condition.
- Government should try and sensitize the Police force, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFFCC), Independent Corruption Practices Commission (ITPC) and other security operatives on how to detect and prevent cybercrimes with technology.
- Government and administrations should ensure that youth centres are built at least in every local government in Nigeria; this is necessary in order for young people to be engaged in creative works and development through these centres.
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