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Guardians upon high: an application of routine activities theory to online identity theft in Europe at the country and individual level

Williams, Matthew L. 2016. Guardians upon high: an application of routine activities theory to online identity theft in Europe at the country and individual level. British Journal of Criminology 56 (1) , pp. 21-48. 10.1093/bjc/azv011

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Abstract

Online fraud is the most prevalent acquisitive crime in Europe. This study applies routine activities theory to a subset of online fraud, online identity theft, by exploring country-level mechanisms, in addition to individual determinants via a multi-level analysis of Eurobarometer survey data. This paper adds to the theory of cybercrime and policy debates by: (1) showing that country physical guardianship (e.g. cyber security strategy) moderates the effects of individual physical guardianship; (2) introducing a typology of online capable guardianship: passive physical, active personal and avoidance personal guardianship; (3) showing that online identity theft is associated with personal and physical guardianship; and (4) identifying public Internet access and online auction selling as highly risky routine activities. The paper concludes by emphasizing the importance of studying country-level effects on online identity theft victimization.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Social Sciences (Includes Criminology and Education)
Cardiff Centre for Crime, Law and Justice (CCLJ)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare
T Technology > T Technology (General)
Additional Information: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons CC BY license, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISSN: 0007-0955
Funders: ESRC, EPSRC
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 30 March 2016
Last Modified: 29 Oct 2020 17:30
URI: http://orca.cardiff.ac.uk/id/eprint/70423

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