This extended theory of self-control explains why some individuals are more likely to be victims and has been applied to the study of cybercrime. For example, an empirical study of college students found that people with characteristics of low self-control, such as impulsivity, perceived they were at a higher risk of theft victimization, but did nothing to change their behavior (Reisig, Pratt, & Holtfreter, 2009). Even people
Cybercrime 32 who possess low levels of self-control can perceive the risks of online victimization; however, they are less likely than individuals with high levels of self-control to change their behavior to decrease their likelihood of being victimized online. Some empirical research that has been conducted on cybercrime victimization shows that self-control theory can be useful in helping to explain why some individuals become victims of cyber criminals. This will help researchers and policy makers develop possible ways to combat this growing problem. Self-control theory can be useful in explaining victimization, both in the real world and in the cyber world. Empirical studies have shown that self-control theory is useful in explaining why some individuals are more likely to participate in deviant behavior, as well as why some individuals are more likely to be victimized (Pratt & Cullen 2000; Pratt, Turner & Piquero 2004; Perrone, Sullivan, Pratt, & Margaryan 2004; Turner, Piquero, & Pratt 2005; Reisig &Pratt 2011; Deng & Zheng 1998; Holtfreter, Reisig, Piquero & Piquero 2010). However, while self-control theory is useful in explaining why individuals may act in a certain way, it does not explain the situations that must be met for a crime to occur. Routine activity theory describes the situational factors that must be present for a crime to occur. In conjunction with self-control theory, routine activity theory can help explain why cybercrime occurs, indeed some researchers have already begun to look at using self-control and routine activity theory together to explain victimization (Holtfreter, Reisig, & Pratt, 2008). For example, scholars found that as a result of remote purchasing activities, individuals with low self-control have an increased possibility of being the victim of fraud (Holtfreter, Reisig & Pratt, 2008). An individual‟s low self-control combined with his or her regular activities can increase an individual‟s risk of being
Cybercrime 33 victimized. Self-control, in conjunction with routine activity theory, may prove a useful model for explaining cybercrime victimization. In conclusion, self-control is a useful theory that can be expanded to the study of cybercrime. Self-control theory explains why some individuals are more likely to participate in crime and other negative behaviors. Individuals with low self-control tend to be impulsive, short-sighted, and to want the immediate gratification that comes from crime or other activities. Their lack of self-control is the result of their upbringing.