PERCEPTION OF CYBER CRIME AMONG NIGERIAN YOUTHS (A STUDY OF CARITAS UNIVERSITY)
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Crime remains pervasive and forever strives to hide itself in the face of development. As measures and techniques for detecting crimes and criminals advance, criminals also look for means of hiding from these measures.
Obano (2007:17) asserts that the internet currently serve as a hiding place for fraudsters who have simply migrated from the streets to an electronic platform.
Okonigini (2002:25) defines computer crime as criminal activities, involving information technology infrastructure, including illegal access of computer data from or within a computer.
Similarly, Asokhia (2003:49) asserts that cyber crime, popularly called “YAHOO” is an off-shoot of advance fee fraud which became popular in the early 90s. Today, it has produced “YAHOO” as its first offspring with mostly young people (most especially the unemployed) as its practitioners.
Different nations have adopted different strategies to contend with crimes depending on their nature and extent. Certainly, a nation with high incidence of crime cannot grow or develop. For Nigeria, a nation in the process of saving her face regarding cyber crimes, efforts are now being directed at the sources and channels through which cyber crimes are being perpetuated the most. [Chiemeke (2008:32)].
Martins (2008:47) assert that “YAHOOISM” is an act of cyber crime that defrauds unsuspecting victims in foreign countries of their hard-earned money. In some instance, the unsuspecting victim is used to defraud banks, postal agencies, shops, etc. the yahoos (perpetrator) sends fake cheque or postal money orders to victims in any of the following countries: Canada, United States of America and other European countries or Asia as the case may be.
He further notes that when the cheques or money order are cashed, the victim is told to send the money through Western Union Money transfer in Nigeria, while in other cases, the victim is told to send the money to another country where the yahooist has built networks over time.
The mode of money collection is usually dependent on the modus operandi the yahooist uses. In similar vein, Alemika (2007:15) notes that in Nigeria today, cyber crime has found its root in the society. Like a cankerworm it has eaten deeply in the society and finally been accepted by the same society.
It is difficult to deny youth support of the menace with yahooze shirts, yahooze dance steps, yahooze songs from the likes of Olu Maintain. Even some young people identify themselves as yahoo boys and girls.
Similarly, Martins (2008:43) notes that the paramount classification of yahooism as a branch of cyber crime and transitional crime is not only expedient in understanding its mystery, but propounding a lasting solution when considering curbing the menace. Yahooism is the fastest growing transnational crime in recent times, especially in Nigeria.
1.2 STATEMENT OF RESEARCH PROBLEM
Nigeria according to Wikipedia is said to be 7th largest oil producing country in the world, but nevertheless, the majority of Nigerians are still living in poverty. Nigeria is also rated amongst one of the most corrupt countries of the world.
Internet usage in Nigeria has grown rapidly resulting in the explosion of Internet Service Providers (ISPS) and Internet Access Point creating an increase in the positive impacts on the socio-economic and educational developments in the country.
Unfortunately, the country’s image has also suffered as a result of the unscripted activities of some Nigerians using the internet as a channel for the perpetration of criminal spamming activities.
The major implication of the unconscious acceptance of this menace in the Nigerian society in the nearest future has created a high level of disinterest in education and touting among young people.
In Nigeria today, young people mostly youths are the ones who engage in this form of anti-social behaviour for the purpose of living a life of splendour.
In recent times Nigeria has been labelled as a corrupt nation. There is a need for the Nigerian government to do something fast and urgent to curb this menace of cyber crime.
1.3 PURPOSE OF THE STUDY
1. To determine the perception of Nigerian youths towards cybercrime.
2. To determine the reason why cybercrime is mostly rampant among Nigerian youths.
3. To suggest measures that can be taken by the federal government to curb cybercrime in Nigeria.
1.4 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
1. To find out how Nigerian youths perceive cybercrime.
2. To assess the ways federal government can curb the continued spread of cybercrime among Nigerian youths and the general public.
3. To ascertain the factors that tend to cause young people’s involvement in cybercrime in Nigeria.
4. To find out if the internet is used as a channel for the perpetration of criminal spamming activities.
1.5 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
1. In what way does Nigerian youths perceive cybercrime?
2. What are the ways Federal Government can curb the continued spread of cybercrime among Nigerian youth and the general public?
3. Is the internet used as a channel for the perpetration of criminal spamming activities?
4. What are the factors that tend to cause people’s involvement in cybercrime in Nigeria?
1.6 RESEARCH HYPOTHESES
H0: internet is not used as a channel for the perpetration of criminal spamming activities.
H1: internet is used as a channel for the perpetration of criminal spamming activities.
H0: the Federal Government cannot curb the continued spread of cybercrime among Nigerian youths and the general public.
H2: the Federal Government can curb the continued spread of cybercrime among Nigerian youths and the general public.
1.7 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
This study, which is primarily aimed at explaining how cybercrime has impacted on the perception of youths in the society, will provide an insight into the problems associated with cybercrime.
This report would be of great benefit for youths, to expose them to the factors that tend to cause young people’s involvement in cybercrime in Nigeria.
It would be useful to the government and related stakeholders to enable them adequately understand factors responsible for and how to curb the continue spread of cybercrime among Nigerian youths [and the general public].
The findings will be useful for researchers to further generate knowledge in the field.
1.8 SCOPE AND LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
This study focused on the perception of cybercrime among Nigerian youths, using students in Caritas University as the study group.
A major limitation of the group is the samples were only from Caritas University where it was chosen as the area in carrying out this research.
This finding is based on the results gathered from Caritas University students on the perception of cybercrime among Nigerian youths.
1.9 ASSUMPTIONS OF THE STUDY
For the purpose of this study, the following assumptions were made:
1. It is assumed that Nigeria youths are aware of cybercrime.
2. That poverty is the major reason why youths engage in cybercrime in Nigeria.
3. That peer pressure contributes to the increase of cybercrime in Nigeria.
4. That Nigerian youth are educated on the use of the cyber all the time.
1.10 DEFINITION OF TERMS
Perception: Caritas student’s attitude towards cybercrime among Nigerian youths.
Cyber: The use of computers, information systems or the internet by the Nigerian youths.
Crime: The display of illegal act characterized by decent, contentment or violation of trust of the youths.
Youth: It is when a young person is young, especially the time before a child becomes an adult.