For example, many cases are reported throughout the world where criminals have used the internet to illegally obtain bank and credit details of customers and used such information to withdraw cash from their accounts. There are also many cases of the internet being used by individuals to attack and harass others, commonly referred to as cyber bullying.
There are many theories that have been used to define and understand criminality and criminal behavior. One of such theories is the social process theory. According to this theory, people become criminals as a result of their interactions with other individuals, organizations and the various processes that exist in their society. Therefore, one learns to be a criminal based on what he/she sees and interacts with in the society. The events and processes that exist in the environment go a long way in influencing one’s behavior. This theory has two other approaches. The first is the social control theory which basically argues that a person’s behavior is influenced by his interactions with institutions and other people. Secondly, there is the social reaction theory which emphases that if an individual is seen or labeled as a criminal early on in life, he is likely to become a criminal later on in life.
In order to evaluate if the cybercrime applies to the social process theory, the causal research design can be applied. In this type of research design, researchers attempt to show evidence of a cause and effect relationship. In this case, the researcher tests how a particular variable results in a particular behavior. In this case, researchers could attempt to show how some of the existing institutions and process determine cyber criminal behavior.