Measuring Cybercrime and Cyberdeviance in Surveys

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Cybercrime is on the rise, and so is the need to systematically analyze its prevalence, distribution, causes, and consequences. While official records (mainly police, prosecution and court statistics) provide important information to explore online crime, they have been subject to extensive criticism due to the presence of measurement error arising from the combined influences of victims’ underreporting and recording practices. Consequently, researchers, crime analysts and policy makers are increasingly relying on estimates of cybercrime and cyberdeviance based on surveys. This chapter reviews the measures of cybercrime and cyberdeviance included in national crime surveys, including household and business victimization surveys and self-report offending surveys. The chapter describes, categorizes and compares measures included in surveys, and discusses opportunities and limitations to generate reliable and valid estimates to study cybercrime and cyberdeviance. Measures included in surveys do not capture the diversity of criminal and deviant behaviors that take place online, and some surveys only probe about certain frauds that may take place both on and offline. The chapter identifies opportunities for researchers to utilize existing data to advance our understanding of online victimization and offending, and provides methodological recommendations to improve the recording of cybercrime and cyberdeviance in existing surveys.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationRoutledge International Handbook of Online Deviance
EditorsRoderick Graham, Stephan G. Humer, Claire Seungeun Lee, Veronika Nagy
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 3 Jul 2023


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