Journal article Open Access

Understanding Target Suitability in Cyberspace: An International Comparison of Cyber Victimization Processes

Fernando Miró-Llinares; Jacqueline Drew; Michael Townsley

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    <subfield code="u">Miguel Hernandez University of Elche, Spain</subfield>
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    <subfield code="a">&lt;p&gt;&lt;em&gt;Economic forms of cybercrime affect millions of people around the world. Preparatory crimes such as spam, scam and malware are increasingly enacted by cybercriminals. However, literature has shown that some people are more vulnerable than others to these types of attacks and this may be a circumstance that varies cross-nationally. Using a comparative research design, behaviors that are associated with a higher probability of victimization by economic preparatory crimes are identified. The results obtained from two samples, one Spanish and one Australian, show that despite similar victimization prevalence, the correlates of routine activities vary substantially. While 6 of the 11 behaviors analyzed were similar, other substantial differences were found. The greatest risk for Spanish participants is online shopping, while for Australians it is downloading files. Differences were also found for use of antivirus, pirated software, contacting strangers and taking part in videoconferences. Based on the current research, it is concluded that cyber victimization should focus on identifying nuances in the daily activities performed by online users, rather than on broader constructs such as interaction or visibility. Further, preventive strategies must take into account differences in routine behaviors across different geographical areas.&lt;/em&gt;&lt;/p&gt;</subfield>
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