• Marie Koldkur
In this Master Thesis, examination has been focused on the online-related experiences and behaviour amongst the Danish 55 plus generation, and how these patterns are related to the occurrence of online-victimization in the sample. Furthermore, focus has been on shedding light on how these patterns can contribute to new perspectives on the online-related vulnerability of the elderly.
This Master Thesis is based on a collaboration with the police department of Eastern Jutland (Østjyllands Politi), and its intention is to contribute toward a greater insight in the online-related vulnerability of the elderly, in order to support the ongoing preventive policing on the topic of discussion.
The Master Thesis’ study is based on cross sectional design and a mixed methods approach has been utilized throughout the study. The primary method is quantitative by way of a questionnaire, which has been distributed both physically and through an online based survey. This resulted in 163 usable responses, whereof 37 were partial. Two qualitative individual expert-interviews were also conducted with representatives of the DaneAge Association (Ældre Sagen) in Aarhus and Aalborg, as a way of aiding the primary method. The sampling of data is based on a very pragmatic approach and is highly biased. Therefore, the representativeness of the sample itself is limited.
The results of the study are presented through descriptive statistics and are ongoingly compared to existing literature and research to strengthen the quality of the small sample. Furthermore, this is supported by a theoretical framework based on a situational perspective of crime prevention through routine activity theory.
The study finds that 31,2 percent of the respondents have been subjects of cybercrime, and 17,6 percent of these have been revictimized. This is valued as a high percentile, even though the numbers are based on lifetime-prevalence. 80,5 percent of the victims have never reported the crimes, which supports the Danish police’s own expectation regarding a high number of underreported cases on the area of cybercrime. This is despite the fact, that the majority of the respondents vary their passwords and install security software. The prevalence of cybercrime in an otherwise homogenous group of elderly internet users, who are diligent internet users, feel safe when using the internet and who mostly have positive experiences regarding the internet, is interesting. The findings suggest that many of the respondents estimate their own competences in online-usability to be adequate, and the majority have participated in a single or multiple cyber awareness courses. The latter are presumably linked to the fact that many of the respondents like to receive new online-related knowledge.
There is an overrepresentation in this sample of daily internet users, users of social media, and users who feel safe opposed to other Danish studies. A similar overrepresentation is found in the elderly, who assess their online-competences to be adequate. This is presumably also one of the basic explanations as to why the prevalence of cybercrime is relatively high amongst the respondents. The study suggests a correlation between the frequency of online victimization, and how often incomprehensible occurrences are experienced by the respondent. Therefore, it is theorized that the respondents’ lack of negative experiences and their perceived sense of security make them more prone to expose themselves on the internet. This, combined with incomprehensible occurrences, can have the effect that the respondents act inexpediently on these occurrences, due to them already trusting their own abilities and therefore feel safe and secure in the given situation.
The interesting thing is, that these aforementioned attributes – those of feeling safe on the internet, online-related competence, the instalment of security software and the participation in cyber awareness courses – are the topic of discussion in how to change the elderly’s conditions on the internet, when these self-same properties may not reduce the prevalence of cybercrime amongst the users.
LanguageDanish
Publication date3 Sep 2018
Number of pages100
External collaboratorØstjyllands Politi
Analytiker Carsten Grubach Madsen cgm003@politi.dk
Place of Internship
ID: 286399969