An Examination Of The Prevalence Of Cyber Crime And Its Influence Of On Polytechnic Students In Nigeria

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An Examination Of The Prevalence Of Cyber Crime And Its Influence Of On Polytechnic Students In Nigeria


Chapter One


Introduction

1.1 Background of the Study

Crime, as a major element of deviance, evolves along with time. Due to the changing social, economic, political, and geographical conditions, crime also changes in tandem with a given epoch and society (Haralambos and Holborn, 2004).

With the profound advancement of technology in the 21st century, the world has now become more or less a digital world. Technology has brought nations together, and the world has now become a global village (Harvey, 2010). The arrival of information communication and technology (ICT) into many aspects of everyday life has led to the development of the modern concept of the information society (Akande, 2007). Currently, there are nearly 2 billion internet users and over 5 billion mobile phone connections worldwide (Ogbunwezeh, 2006). According to a report given by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), as of 2011, there were more than 45 million internet users in Nigeria, which is more than 26.5% of the population.

Furthermore, the technological advancement in cyberspace has made computers an integral component in national development. However, regardless of the security level of cyberspace, criminal acts still emerge. Criminal activities within cyberspace are now on a global scale.

Crimes aided by the internet (cybercrime) have been seen to be orchestrated mostly by Nigerian youngsters (Olaide and Adewole 2004). And it’s becoming more common among university students. Cybercrime, according to Okonigini (2013), is defined as computer-based criminal actions using information technology infrastructure, such as unauthorized access to computer data from or within a computer. Cybercrime has been dubbed “one of the world’s fastest expanding illegal enterprises.” It includes content-related offenses, copyright and trademark violations, computer-related offenses, and violations of computer data and system confidentiality, integrity, and availability (Wall, 2001). According to Okeshola (2016), cybercrime, often known as “YAHOO,” is a type of money-laundering scam that became common in the early 1990s. Today, it has created “YAHOO” as its first progeny, with the majority of its users being young people (particularly students and the jobless).

Identity theft, desktop counterfeiting, cyber harassment, fraudulent electronic mail, automated teller machine spoofing, pornography, piracy, hacking, phishing, spamming, and other internet-assisted crimes are all commonplace in Nigeria today (Abimbola, 2016).

It is, however, of public concern that a majority of Nigerian university students have increasingly added to the number of cyber-criminals who are perpetrators of online fraud in Nigeria (Ashaolu, 2011). To this effect, most students treat the very aim of their enrollment into the university with a sense of laxity, as their utmost targets are being diverted to participating in cyber crimes for quick and huge financial gains. Though the menace of cyber crime is on the increase on university campuses, the execution of lawful penalties has been ineffective as bribery has become the order of the day. Hence, only a few victims of these unlawful acts have been caught, arrested, and rusticated from their respective institutions (Okeshola, 2016). As a result, students have never ceased to carry out their criminal acts. With respect to the ongoing, this study is therefore aimed at examining the influence of the prevalence of cybercrime on polytechnic students in Nigeria.


1.2 Statement of the Problem

According to Mali (2008), cybercrime is any criminal activity in which computers or networks are a tool, a target, or a place for such activity. It has unique characteristics such as ambiguity, dynamism, speed of occurrence, anonymity, extraterritoriality, etc., that make its control and prevention a daunting task amongst the community of nations, and have found prevalence in Nigeria.

Cybercrime, according to Mali (2008), is any illegal behavior in which computers or networks are used as a tool, a target, or a location. It has certain features, such as ambiguity, dynamism, rapid recurrence, anonymity, diplomatic immunity, and so on, that make its control and prevention a difficult task for the international community, and it has been shown to be prevalent in Nigeria. As stipulated by Tade (2013), the major reason behind the increasing cybercrime involvement of Nigerian youths is the lack of a sustainable source of income. On the other hand, students are no longer willing to give it all to education since unemployment is on the increase. As a result, the majority of students in tertiary institutions sought alternative means of livelihood since there are no allowances from the government, and no job opportunities are guaranteed. Consequent to this is the prevalence and increase of cybercrime in Nigeria as some students advance in the act while others keep on being enrolled in it regardless of the implications.

It is, however, of public concern that a majority of Nigerian university students have increasingly added to the number of cyber-criminals who are perpetrators of online fraud in Nigeria (Okeshola, 2016). To this effect, most students treat the very aim of their enrollment into the university with a sense of laxity, as their utmost targets are being diverted to participating in cyber crimes for quick and huge financial gains. The above, therefore, forms the backdrop of this study.


1.3 Objective of the Study

The general aim of this study is to examine the prevalence of cyber crime and its influence on polytechnic students in Nigeria.

To achieve this, the study will specifically:

  1. Examine the prevalence of cybercime in Nigerian polytechnics.
  2. Identify the reasons why students engage in cybercrime.
  3. Determine the types of cybercrime often committed by polytechnic students in Nigeria.
  4. Ascertain the effect of students’ involvement in cybercrime has on their academic achievement.

1.4 Research Question

The following questions will guild this study;

  1. What is the prevalence of cybercrime in Nigerian polytechnics?
  2. What are the reasons students engage in cybercrime?
  3. What are the types of cybercrime often committed by polytechnic students in Nigeria?
  4. Does students’ involvement in cybercrime have any negative effect on their academic achievement?

1.5 Significance of the Study

This study will be invaluable to university stakeholders in Nigeria and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission as it will apprise them of the increasing prevalence of cyber crime among students, the dynamic ways through which students carry out cyber crime activities and the reasons why they engage in it. Much more, this study will ignite the need to strictly sanction students who are involved in cyber crime and the lecturers who promote these ugly acts.

Additionally, subsequent researchers will use it as a literature review. This means that other students who may decide to conduct studies in this area will have the opportunity to use this study as available literature that can be subjected to critical review. Invariably, the result of the study contributes immensely to the body of academic knowledge with regards to the prevalence of cyber crime and its influence on polytechnic students in Nigeria..


1.7 Limitation of the Study

Like in every human endeavour, the researcher encountered slight constraints while carrying out the study. Insufficient funds tend to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature, or information and in the process of data collection, which is why the researcher resorted to a limited choice of sample size. More so, the researcher simultaneously engaged in this study with other academic work. As a result, the amount of time spent on research will be reduced.


1.6 Scope of the Study

The general focus of this study is on the prevalence of cyber crime and its influence on polytechnic students in Nigeria. Additionally, the study will examine the prevalence of cybercrime in Nigerian polytechnics, identify the reasons why students engage in cybercrime, determine the types of cybercrime often committed by polytechnic students in Nigeria, and ascertain the effect of students’ involvement in cybercrime on their academic achievement. Thus, this study will be limited to Federal Polytechnic, Nekede, Imo State.


1.7 Limitation of the Study

Like in every human endeavour, the researcher encountered slight constraints while carrying out the study. Insufficient funds tend to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature, or information and in the process of data collection, which is why the researcher resorted to a limited choice of sample size. More so, the researcher simultaneously engaged in this study with other academic work. As a result, the amount of time spent on research will be reduced.


1.8 Definition of Terms

Crime:

A crime is an unlawful act punishable by a state or other authority. The term crime does not, in modern criminal law, have any simple and universally accepted definition, though statutory definitions have been provided for certain purposes.

Cybercrime:

This is a crime that involves a computer and a network. The computer may have been used in the commission of a crime, or it may be the target. Cybercrime may harm someone’s security and financial health.

Internet Fraud:

Internet fraud is the use of Internet services or software with Internet access to defraud victims or to otherwise take advantage of them.


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Frequently Asked Questions


What is cybercrime?

Cybercrime, also called computer crime, the use of a computer as an instrument to further illegal ends, such as committing fraud, trafficking in child pornography and intellectual property, stealing identities, or violating privacy.

Is cybercrime a new crime in the 21st century?

By the 21st century, though, hardly a hamlet remained anywhere in the world that had not been touched by cybercrime of one sort or another. New technologies create new criminal opportunities but few new types of crime. 

What is cyber crime and why is it important?

Cybercrime, the use of a computer as an instrument to further illegal ends, such as committing fraud, stealing identities, or violating privacy. Cybercrime, especially through the Internet, has grown in importance as the computer has become central to commerce, entertainment, and government.

How has cybercrime changed over time?

Cybercrime, especially through the Internet, has grown in importance as the computer has become central to commerce, entertainment, and government. Because of the early and widespread adoption of computers and the Internet in the United States, most of the earliest victims and villains of cybercrime were Americans. 

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