1. The Cybercrime press release distributed by the Bureau of Justice Statistics (Exercise 6.1) discusses the prevalence and impact of cybercrime in the United States. According to the article, twothirds (67%) of all businesses detected at least one cyber crime in 2005, most notably cyber theft, computer viruses, spyware, adware, phising and spoofing. How would you define the following terms?
Computer virus: is a program installs itself resulting to a slow performance of the computer.
Spyware entails the utilization of software that has the capability to spy on the browsing activities of a computer user.
Adware is software that generates advertisements once installed on a computer without authorization of the user.
Phishing is the use of someone else’s identification to cheat or deceive an unknowing party resulting to financial gain.
Spoofing consist of a variety of techniques that contribute to various cybercrimes.
2. Now ask another person (a classmate, colleague, friend or family member) how they would define the following terms:
Cyber theft relates to stealing of finances using computers and the internet.
Computer virus is a program that slows down the operation and functioning of a computer.
Spyware is any program that is used by a criminal to spy and obtain private information from an unwilling computer user.
Adware is programs that provide unauthorized advertisements to the computer user.
Phising is a method used in conducting identity theft.
Spoofing is the ability to falsify information in order to deceive someone else that is communicating with the actual sender of information. For instance, emails are mostly used for spoofing.
3. Suppose you were a researcher and wanted to study cybercrime in the United States. What process would you use to operationalize these terms? Discuss what resources you would use in doing this.
Conducting surveys using interviews and accessing national records would provide valuable information on the levels of the various cybercrime. Additionally, further research into literature would provide valuable information on the cybercrime.
4. Next, please carry out the process you have identified in question 3 to operationalize the cybercrime terms. When you have completed this process, write the operational definitions of the terms below.
Cyber theft refers to the use of computer networks for criminal profits.
Computer virus: is a program that installs onto a computer operating system without the user’s authorization and consumes memory of the computer.
Spyware applications enable unwanted personnel to view a user’s browsing activity.
Adware is a program that provides advertisements unwanted and unexpected by the user.
Phishing as tactic involves the use of email, telephone, or instant messaging to pose as a valid entity like an eBay representative for retrieving usernames and passwords.
Spoofing involves the use technology tricks for purposes of achieving Internet fraud.
1. The BJS report presented in Exercise 6.2 is based on the 1997 Survey of State Inmates in State Correctional Facilities (SCISCF). This report details the sampling procedure used to interview inmates for the survey. Based on the survey methods discussed, do you believe that the results are generalizable to the inmate population nationwide? Why or why not?
The results can be generalized to the whole population nationwide. This is because based on the 95 percent confidence interval the comparisons that were done for the prison inmates were statistically significant.
2. How can face-to-face interviews influence the inmate responses?
Unstandardized interviews are more informal, and they allow the interviewer to create a good rapport with the inmates. This means the inmates may be more willing to contribute information to the interviewer, both truthfully and unconditionally. The prisoner may even share some other information relevant to the study, which, the interviewer had not probed. Standardized interviews are formal, and questions are structured and rigid. The interviewer and the interviewee may be limited from digressing from the main questions. This may have the effect of inhibiting the inmates from freely sharing extra information that is relevant to the study.
Questions asked during the interview may appear artificial. This is because they are constructed prior to the interview. This may create an artificial environment that may discourage the inmates from speaking truthfully. Face-to-face interviews are an intrusive, as opposed to unobtrusive method of data collection. This is because the inmates are conscious to the fact that they are involved in a study. This means that they can alter or change from their natural performance. This would have a profound impact on the external validity of the data collected an effect referred to as Hawthorne effect.
3. What other methods can be used to collect data relating to the inmates history, families, substance use, firearms, educational programs, and services while in custody.
Questionnaires can be issued to the inmates for them to fill out. These can be self-administered or mailed to the various prison inmates. The questions should be well structured and logically arranged. The introduction should seek to assure the respondents of confidentiality. It should also explain to the respondents the aim of the study. The questionnaires should also be brief.
Ethnographic research may also be used to gather data from the inmates. This is the observation of the subject of research in their natural setting. The researcher also becomes a participant observer. In this research method, the researcher would have to pose as an inmate or maybe a psychologist to collect data from the inmates without them knowing that they are under study.
4. Why might the use of an alternate method, called triangulation, be useful in examining issues for prison inmates?
Triangulation provides a way of addressing complex questions that may arise in prisons. For instance, different prisons have different programs to rehabilitate the prisoners. This situation brings about issues related to quality, implementation, impact, and outcome. Using triangulation provides an avenue of utilizing a wide range of information to address the complex questions.
Additionally, since observing issues about prison inmates are time sensitive, triangulation can provide a quicker and accurate way of addressing new data. Furthermore, triangulation allows more precise conclusions to be drawn from the use of different approaches.