Applications for this PhD have now closed.
Location Griffith University, Griffith Criminology Institute
App. deadline 03/10/2017
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Eligibility Australian residents only

An empirical test of cybercrime prevention strategies: Developing approaches to increase awareness and decrease harms

Founded in 2015, the establishment of the Griffith Criminology Institute (GCI) reflects the culmination and solidification of the community of criminology, crime and justice scholars from across the University who collectively represent one of the largest, most vibrant and high performing criminology communities in the world.

Our vision is to produce cutting-edge knowledge that helps create safe, just, well-governed and equitable societies.

Prospective Research Higher Degree students are invited to apply for a PhD scholarship with the Griffith Criminology Institute. Australian Government Research Training Program (RTP) Stipend Scholarship and Griffith University Postgraduate Research Scholarship applications are currently open, closing Tuesday 3 October 2017. These Scholarship opportunities each provide a living allowance of approximately $26,682 per annum.

GCI Strategic Priorities and Top-up Funding

A GCI funded Scholarship Top-up (valued at $6,000 per annum) is available for an outstanding student working project outlined below. Applicants must meet the University’s selection criteria for entry into the PhD programme and be awarded a Scholarship to qualify for GCI Top-up funding. If you would like to discuss this opportunity further please contact the supervisory team for the relevant project. Top-ups are available for four other projects relating to areas of strategic importance - click here for further details.

How to Apply

After reviewing the PhD project below, prospective applicants should make contact with the relevant supervisory team and ensure that details of the project are included in their Scholarship application. Contact must be made with the relevant supervisory team by 5pm Monday 25 September 2017. Where multiple enquires are received for a single PhD Project Topic, the supervisory team will notify the preferred candidate by Wednesday 27 September 2017 in order to allow submission of the Scholarship application. Only one GCI Top-up will be offered per selected topic area.

To apply for a scholarship, follow the process for submitting an online application outlined on the Griffith University website; The GCI will review the full scholarship application via the usual round assessment process and will make recommendations for Scholarships and Top-ups which align with the selected topics below.

PhD Project

Project Title: An empirical test of cybercrime prevention strategies: Developing approaches to increase awareness and decrease harms.

Strategic Priority: Cybercrime

Supervisory Team:

Dr Jaqueline Drew (Email: Phone: (07) 3735 5957)

Professor Michael Townsley (Email: Phone: (07) 3735 1025)

Project Description:

The prevalence and impact of cyber fraud continues to increase exponentially with new and more innovative methods developed by offenders to target and exploit victims for their own financial reward. Traditional crime reaction methods used by police have proved largely ineffective in this context. As such, police agencies and many other government and non-government stakeholders in the cybercrime prevention space, have begun to adopt a victim focused, prevention approach to cybercrime. It is widely acknowledged that the internet has provided increasing opportunities for criminals to commit crimes enabled by the online environment with the creation of new crimes and to perpetrate traditional crimes in new and innovative ways (Australian Government Attorney-General’s Department, 2013; Broadhurst, 2006; Clough, 2015; Webster & Drew, 2017). Despite this, there is a notable lack of research analysing online victimisation risk and in turn, online crime prevention (Grabosky, 2001; Reyns, 2010).

It is argued, that victims are the lynchpin in their own self-protection and can play an important role in reducing the prevalence of cyber fraud by protecting themselves against cybercrime attacks. However, this approach requires an evidence-based understanding of awareness of cybercrime and both knowledge and use of online self-protective crime prevention behaviours that are being employed by online users. To date, little research has examined the translation of knowledge of online crime prevention behaviours into the actual use of online crime prevention strategies (Burns & Roberts, 2013).

It is crucial to better understand what types of crime prevention approaches and strategies can work to stop or at least reduce victimisation risks and harms. Despite the enormity of crime prevention information and advice available to online users about cyber security protection, cybercrime continues to increase. Crime prevention approaches have not been empirically tested, hence we are unaware of the impact and effectiveness of crime prevention education and advice. The research would be theoretically driven by routine activities approach, lifestyle exposure theory and situational crime prevention frameworks. This research would address both theoretical and empirical gaps in existing literature.

Aims and Objectives:

  1. This research aims to gain a better understanding of cybercrime prevention of online users, by establishing a base line measure of awareness of different types of cybercrime, knowledge of crime prevention approaches and behavioural uses of crime prevention strategies.
  2. This study will empirically test different types of crime prevention messages to identify those which are likely to have most impact in preventing or at least, reducing cybercrime victimisation.

Other Important information:

Applicants should be available to start in early 2018 and have an undergraduate degree with first class honours in an appropriate discipline. The methodology would be a survey-based quasi-experimental design. Research would involve several samples that would be pre and post surveyed via an online survey before and after undertaking relevant cybercrime prevention education.

Please Note: Should this listing mention details of an available scholarship, it is your responsibility to confirm the specifics with the university / institute prior to applyiing. Terms and conditions are in some cases subject to change and are not always reflected immediately within listings.

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Further Information / Application Enquiries

Mr Matthew Browne