IADT lecturers publish book examining the psychology of cybercrime

Lecturers in the CCTA at the Institute of Art, Design and Technology (IADT) have recently published a textbook examining the psychology of cybercrime. Dr. Grainne Kirwan and Dr. Andrew Power co-authored Cybercrime: The Psychology of Online Offenders, published by Cambridge University Press.

Cybercrime is a growing problem in the modern world. Despite the many advantages of computers, they have spawned a number of crimes, such as hacking and virus writing. Other crimes, such as copyright infringement, identity theft and production and distribution of sexually explicit materials depicting children have become more prevalent and easier to commit. Other harmful online activities, such as cyberbullying, cyberstalking and terrorist use of the Internet are increasingly making headlines as governments and individuals become more aware of the dangers. Understanding the psychological concepts behind these actions can help to determine what motivates and characterises perpetrators, and how cybercrimes can be prevented.

The book examines the psychology of the offenders and their victims, examining the psychological impact and effectiveness of punishments, preventative measures, and information strategies. It considers how aspects of forensic psychology can be applied to online criminality, for example, the use of offender profiling techniques to better understand cybercriminals. Kirwan and Power argue that this relatively new type of criminality can best be studied and explained through a combination of theoretical and empirical perspectives, including those developed in criminology, forensic psychology and Internet psychology.

Kirwan and Power emphasise that, while the focus on technological solutions to cybercrime is essential, consideration of the added value that psychology can contribute to investigations and preventative strategies is also important. Technological and psychological methodologies addressing the problem of cybercrime are complementary – utilising both provides a stronger approach than either alone can achieve.

Cybercrime is available in paperback, hardback and ebook from Amazon and the Cambridge University Press website (www.cambridge.org). The book is suitable for the general reader, but is particularly relevant for undergraduate and postgraduate students of psychology, criminology, law, forensic science and computer science.

Story submitted by:

Dr. Gráinne Kirwan

31 October 2013