Individual Characteristics and Hacking, Piracy, Online Gambling and Pornography Use among Students: A Study in Malaysia

Individual Characteristics and Hacking, Piracy, Online Gambling and Pornography Use among Students: A Study in Malaysia

Hosein Jafarkarimi, Alex Tze Hiang Sim, Robab Saadatdoost, Jee Mei Hee
Copyright: © 2015 |Pages: 14
DOI: 10.4018/IJCBPL.2015040103
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In this study, 441 Universiti Teknologi Malaysia students participated as respondents. Through a questionnaire respondents were asked how frequently they engage in specific behaviors, including hacking, using pirated software, music and movies in addition to use of gambling and pornography sites. The aim was to investigate which individual characteristics including age, gender, religion, citizenship, level of education, ego strength and locus of control are among determinants of these behaviors. The results of these questions were used to report the ratio of frequent users of these materials based on different categories. Logistic regression was used to see what the influential factors in the investigated behaviors are. The results suggest that males are more engaged with almost all of the investigated behaviors. In addition, citizenship, ego strength, age and religion reflected a statistically significant difference among people in certain activities. Level of education and locus of control did not reflect any significance in engaging in aforementioned behaviors.
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1. Introduction

Computers as a general purpose technology have brought many changes to different aspects of our lives. These changes are not limited to technical issues, but also include philosophical ones. To demonstrate, it is a fact that new information may alter or deny previously known beliefs (Pollock, 1987) and computers have altered many facts. Computers empower people to do certain activities which were not possible to do before. For instance, before computers and the Internet, it was not an easy task to duplicate a music recording or to steal money without even touching it, but the emergence of computers has changed these facts and has made it possible for an individual to do so merely by sitting behind a PC and doing some mouseclicks. These changes have brought with them new ethical dilemmas or altered some existing ones.

In the information age, information and communication technology (ICT) plays an important role in all aspects of human life. With easy access to computers and the Internet, people are able to use ICT in different ways. This expanding use of ICT and flexibility of computers allow individuals to use ICT in novel, unexpected and unethical ways (Moor, 1999). Problems such as piracy, hacking, identity theft and web spoofing have become major issues. From different points of view, most ICT professionals are concerned about inappropriate, illegal and unethical uses of ICT (Calluzzo and Cante, 2004). Unfortunately, the unethical use of ICT is growing as fast as the technology itself (Phukan and Dhillon, 2002). This unethical behavior is common all over the world and is observable in different countries and contexts (Moores and Dhillon, 2000). Different attempts such as legislation and setting standards have been made to avoid or minimize such behaviors. For example, the “Software Engineering Code of Ethics and Professional Practice” produced by the Institution of Electrical and Electronic Engineers Computer Society (IEEE CS) and the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) aims to act as a professional standard for teaching and practicing software engineering (“Software engineering code of ethics and professional practice,” 1999). However, it is believed that only a limited number of people are aware of these standards (Phukan and Dhillon, 2002).

In current research, a set of unethical behaviors including hacking, movie piracy, music piracy, software piracy, using pornographic material and online gambling were under investigation. A set of individual characteristics were used to study their impact on unethical behavior among students in Universiti Teknologi Malaysia.

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