Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Wood, Peter B.

Committee Member

Dunaway, R. Gregory

Committee Member

Xu, Xiaobe

Committee Member

Jones, James D.

Committee Member

Kerley, Kent R.

Date of Degree


Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access



Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


College of Arts and Sciences


Department of Sociology, Anthropology and Social Work


The aim of this study was to investigate cyber-crime victimization among Internet users in the United States by: 1) assessing the factors that impact computer virus victimization; 2) assessing the factors that impact cyber-crime victimization; and 3) predicting fear of cyber-crime. Two domains in criminology were applied to the study of cyber-crime phenomenon: routine activity theory, and the fear of crime literature. Three independent models were developed to predict computer virus victimization, cyber-crime victimization, and fear of cyber-crime. Measures of routine activity theory applied to cyber-crime victimization include risk exposure, and suitable targets were created. A more reliable measure of fear of cyber-crime was created, and a measure of perceived seriousness of cyber-crime was created. The 2004 National Cyber Crime Victimization Survey dataset was used in this project. Logistic Regression and OLS Regression were utilized to predict computer virus victimization, cyber-crime victimization, and fear of cyber-crime.The findings of this study indicate that routine activity theory was a powerful predictor of computer virus victimization and cyber-crime victimization. That is, risk exposure and suitable targets helped determine the victimization. The study also found that cyber-crime victimization, gender, and perceived seriousness were predictive of fear of cyber-crime. Discussion of the findings and theoretical and policy implications were offered.