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EFFECT OF CYBER CRIME ON ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE OF STUDENTS IN NIGERIA 

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Cyber Crime and Cyber Law in India

Abstract

This study was carried out to investigate the effect of cybercrime on academic performance of students in Nigeria. The study aims at determining the extent to which secondary schools students in the study area were actively involved in cybercrime and the adverse effects on their academic performance. To achieve the objective of this study, four (4) research question and hypotheses were raised to guide the study. The researcher adopted survey research design and a sample size of (120) one hundred and twenty senior secondary schools students were randomly selected from Ahoada Local Government Area of Rivers State. The study was carried out by administering questionnaires and interviewing senior secondary school students in the study Area. It was revealed that there were significant influence of cybercrime on academic performance of students in Ahoada Local Government Area. Also, that the male students were mostly prone to commit cybercrime in secondary schools in the study Area. The study concluded that Secondary school students across Nigeria have been recruited into cybercrime activities and some have fully accept it as a normal a way of life. Resulting from this study, it was crystal clear that students in Nigeria are becoming deeply involved in acts of cybercrime and some of them do not even know the gravity of the offenses they are committing even though some do. Relevant recommendations were made from the findings of this study to help eradicate the challenges.

                                               CHAPTER ONE

                                              INTRODUCTION

1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY

The technological revolution in the 21st century is without a dire consequences. The modern communication devices such as Cellular Phones, Smartphones, Tablets, Laptops etc. These inventions has been a major landmark in human history. Ayantokun (2006), defined computer as a machine that performs tasks, such as calculation or electronic communication, under the control of a set of instructions called a program. Programs usually reside within the computer and are retrieved and processed by the computer’s electronics. The program results are stored or routed to output devices, such as video display monitors or printers. Oyewole and Obeta (2002), define a computer as an electronic device that accepts, processes, stores and outputs data at high speed according to programmed instructions. Computers perform a wide variety of activities reliably, accurately and quickly depending on the purpose it was designed for. Computer can be used in areas of education, medicine, engineering design, scientific research, office automation, personal administration etc (Morley and Parker, 2007).

Crime appears to be a permanent feature of modern society. Despite efforts of social workers, law enforcement agency, personal and criminal justice professionals to minimise it, the world is becoming a more terrible place. Where crimes such as homicide, kidnapping, robbery, assault, sex offences, child molestation, burglary, environmental crime, arson are crimes without a victim, economic crime, political crime and cyber crime are the order of the day. Cyber crime is any activity involving computers and networks. A crime committed or facilitated via the Internet is a cyber crime. Cyber crime is any criminal activity involving computers and networks. This ranges from fraud to unsolicited emails (spam). It can include the distant theft of government or corporate secrets through criminal trespass into remote systems around the globe. Cyber crime is not only limited to, anything from downloading illegal music files to stealing millions of dollars from online bank accounts, but also includes non-money offenses, such as creating viruses on other computers or posting confidential business information on the internet (Boniface & Michael, 2014). Student’s population in Nigeria at the Secondary School level forms the largest unit of the total population of about 140 million people, National Population Commission (2007). Incidentally this figure is made up of adolescents. Adolescent period could be challenging with peer and socio-economic factor influences. These factors among others has greater effect on the perception of the youth on several issues like what is right and wrong (value system) which has cumulative effect on the economy of any nation. Adolescents likes to explore into any area of life, especially interesting and alluring nature. With the breakthrough in information technology through the use of Internet facilities, the tendency for it to be abused is better imagine.

Nigeria like any other developing country is battling with the problem of unemployment, hence having a large percentage of its youth idle. The Christian Biblical saying that an idle mind is the devils workshop is a source of worry, with the teeming population of youths. The perception of an individual indicates his attitude to what is good and bad and the tendency to get involved in it. Generally adolescents tend to get involve in copying from what they read or see. Hence any laxity on the part of government agency to curb the menace of cyber crime could be detrimental. For now effort by the Federal Government of Nigeria to combat the scourge of cyber crime has yielded positive results in the area of piracy of musical CDs, while the crime continue to grow by leaps and bound. The perpetrators of scam mail fraud popularly called the yahoo, yahoo boys and girls continue unabated. As a way of combating this crime the Federal Government of Nigeria in 2004 established the Nigerian cyber-working group, which is an interagency body made up of all key Law Enforcement Security Intelligence, ICT agencies. Their effort is yet to gain results, as the yahoo yahoo boys and girls continue to display their ill gotten wealth at parties in night clubs and beer parlours and driven in flashes cars around the community.

Owing to all aforementioned reasons, Nigeria’s image has sunk so much over the years and this has adversely affected the integrity and good name of Nigerians all over the world. Even though a global phenomenon, Nigeria’s situation regarding cyber crime has been one of the worst in the world. Nowadays in Nigeria, the menace of the so-called ‘yahoo boyism’ as titled by (Adeniran, 2011), in which a category of young individuals referred to as ‘yahoo boys’ commit an overwhelming majority of the cyber crimes in Nigeria. These yahoo boys so called, live large without any hint of how tough it is to be successful or rich in a country like Nigeria. Some of them even spend money lavishly, in a way rich people don’t normally do. The common source of this kind of undeserved wealth is through various illegal means which includes cyber crime mainly.

1.2 Statement of the Problem

Cyber crime a criminal act involving the illegal activities directed at or perpetrated through the use of computer involves the theft of computers data willful damage to Computer or Computer system, unlawful access to or interference with the operation of computer transmitting offensives or illegal content using computer and committing of fraud or other offences through the use of computers has come to stay as a universal problem. The entire globe is vulnerable to the crime. The ease at committing this crime is made simpler with the proliferations of cyber café in every nook and corners of urban and rural centres of each state. Nations with high rate of unemployment with indifference to cyber crime is in serious danger of having its useful youth becoming cyber criminals. In this digital modern era where people are moving to paperless society, most secondary school students spend most of their time browsing the internet via computers and other personal electronic gadgets. These provide quick access and means of communicating across the World Wide Web. However, easy access to the cyber space and internet, when left unchecked, could affect and destroy the minds of these young future leaders in Nigeria. Especially, if they keep getting huge money, cloths, cars, laptops and other valuable properties through cybercrime and other related internet fraud. The future generation may turn down schooling and opt to concentrate on making more money through cyber crime. This study therefore seeks to assess the effect of cybercrime on academic performance of students in Nigeria.

1.3 Objectives of the Study

The primary aim of this study is to examine the effect of cybercrime on academic performance of students in Ahoada Local Government Area. The specific objectives are;

  1. To determine the perception of secondary school students toward committing cyber crime in Ahoada Local Government Area.
  2. To examine the level of success and the gender mostly prone to commit cyber crime in secondary schools.
  3. To ascertain the factors that influence students into cybercrime in secondary Schools.
  4. To examine the influence of cybercrime on academic performance of students in Nigeria.

1.4 Research Questions

The following questions will guide the study;

  1. Is there any significant influence of cybercrime on academic performance of students in Ahoada Local Government Area?
  2. Are male students mostly prone to commit cyber crime in secondary schools in Ahoada Local Government Area?
  3. Are there factors that influence students into cybercrime in secondary Schools?
  4. What is the perception of secondary school students toward committing cyber crime in Rivers State?

1.5 Research Hypotheses

The following research hypotheses will be tested in the course of the study;

H0: There is no significant influence of cybercrime on academic performance of students in Ahoada Local Government Area.

H1: There is a significant influence of cybercrime on academic performance of students in Ahoada Local Government Area.

H0: There are no factors that influence students into cybercrime in secondary Schools in Rivers State.

H2: There are factors that influence students into cybercrime in secondary Schools in Rivers State.

1.6 Significance of the Study

Nigerians today have joined the global use of Internet facilities for business transaction, therefore there is a need to inform the teeming populace (parents and educators) of the danger, the percentage successes of these youth in cyber crime can have on their attitude towards learning which eventually revealed its self in academic performance. This study will bring to bear on some means and ways of combating cyber crime and other related online/internet fraud in Nigerian secondary schools. The study also intends to add to the literature on the effect of cyber crime among secondary school students especially on their academic performance. The classroom teachers will be able to understand reason for deviant behaviours among students who are exposed to cyber-crime. The study also seeks to give estimates on the knowledge on cyber crime and its effects, on the individual and the country at large. Such information will serve as an important measure and provide focus for various intervention and prevention programmes, especially those directed towards secondary school students. The findings of this study will serve as a reference materials to future researchers with interest on cyber crime activities among secondary school students.

1.7 Scope and Limitation of the Study

This research work is limited to Ahoada Local Government Area of Rivers State. It is to examine the effect of cybercrime on academic performance of students in Nigeria. The validity of this entire result is limited to the accuracy of the information supplied by the respondents.

The researcher encounters some constraints which limited the scope of the study;

FINANCE: Due to the nature of office and business within the scope, the researcher spends a lot of money on visiting, traveling from one location to another, from one office to the other and even had to repeat a visit more than three times to seek for information, all these involves money considering the financial constraint of the researcher and limited resources available to her.

TIME: Time constraint has been another vital limitation and obstacle towards effective realization of the main objectives of this study. Time was really not on my side since I have to combine the little time left with my academic work and preparation.

1.8   DEFINITION OF TERMS

Cyber crime: Cybercrime is a crime that involves a computer and a network. The computer may have been used in the commission of a crime, or it may be the target. Cybercrime may harm someone’s security and financial health.

Academic Performance: Academic achievement or academic performance is the extent to which a student, teacher or institution has attained their short or long-term educational goals.

Net crime refers to criminal exploitation of the Internet. Such crimes may threaten a nation’s security and financial health. Issues surrounding this type of crime has become high-profile, particularly those surrounding cracking, copyright infringement, child pornography, and child grooming.

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