Understanding the Influence of Cybercrime Risk on the E-Service Adoption of European Internet Users

Riek Markus, Böhme Rainer, Moore Tyler

Cybercrime is a pervasive threat for today’s Internet-dependent society. While the real extent and economic impact is hard to quantify, scien- tists and officials agree that cybercrime is a huge and still growing problem. A substantial fraction of cybercrime’s overall costs to society can be traced to indirect opportunity costs, resulting from unused online services. 

This paper presents a theoretically derived model that utilizes technology acceptance research and insights from Criminology to identify factors that reduce Inter- net users’ intention to use online services. We hypothesize that avoidance of online banking, online shopping and online social networking is increased by prior cybercrime victimization and media reports. The effects are mediated by perceived risk of cybercrime and moderated by the user’s confidence on- line. 
We test our hypotheses using a structural equation modeling analysis of a representative pan-European sample. Our empirical results confirm the negative impact of perceived risk of cybercrime on the usage of all three cat- egories of online services and support the role of cybercrime experience as an antecedent of perceived risk of cybercrime. We further show that more confident Internet users perceive less cybercriminal risk and are more likely to use online banking and online shopping which highlights the importance of consumer education.

Information Security; Economics of Cybercrime; Avoidance of E-Services; Consumer Behavior; Perceived Risk; Technology Acceptance Model; Structural Equation Modeling

Publication type
Research article in proceedings (conference)

Peer reviewed

Publication status
accepted / in press (not yet published)


13th Workshop on the Economics of Information Security (WEIS)

The Pennsylvania State University, State College, Pennsylvania


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