Vulnerability to Internet Crime and Gender Issues
Tejaswini Herath (State University of New York at Buffalo, USA), S. Bagchi-Sen (State University of New York at Buffalo, USA) and H. R. Rao (State University of New York at Buffalo, USA)
Copyright: © 2006
A tremendous growth in the use of the Internet has been observed in the past two decades. More than 75% of Americans participate in online activities (University of Southern California Annenberg School Center for the Digital Future, 2004) such as e-mail, Web browsing, working from home, accessing news stories, seeking information, instant messaging, using the Internet in lieu of the library for school work, playing games, and managing personal finance. For professionals, the Internet is an important medium for networking and building social capital. However, along with all positive impacts, there are also negative outcomes. One such negative outcome includes Internet crimes. Dowland, Furnell, Illingworth, and Reynolds (1999) state that “with society’s widespread use of and, in some cases, reliance upon technology, significant opportunities now exist for both mischievous and malicious abuse via IT systems” (p. 715). Internet crimes (cyber crimes) consist of specific crimes dealing with computers and networks (such as hacking, spreading of viruses, and worms) and the facilitation of traditional crime through the use of computers on the Internet (such as child pornography, hate crimes, telemarketing/Internet fraud). This article focuses on Internet crimes, especially those affecting individual users, and offers a discussion of issues regarding Internet crimes and gender.