Journal article Open Access

Understanding Cyber Victimization: Digital Architectures and the Disinhibition Effect

Agustina, Jose R.

Abstract
Researchers in the fields of sociology, psychology, behavioural sciences and law are trying to comprehend the radical rise of a new relational paradigm derived from the current proliferation of ICT. Crime dynamics and victimisation are not alien to the set of changes wrought by the digital era. The way in which victims behave in cyber space decisively elevates their risk of victimization. In connexion with this, the design of digital architectures notably increases criminal opportunities and facilitates cyber victimisation i.e. the defining traits of cyber space affect people’s daily lives and incline them to adopt riskier lifestyles. Based on Routine Activity Theory and Lifestyle Theory, along with the interesting work of Suler (2004), the present article shows the importance of victimological perspective in explaining cyber criminal events and designing prevention strategies. Stemming from literature review, this analysis will focus on describing a set of psychological and sociological traits that comprise the profile of victims and explaining how the surroundings influence one’s thoughts, desires, and actions.

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