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Cybercrime has been one of the most common practice made by the computer expert. In this study i mentioned some of the impact of the cybercrime. Cybercrime is that activities made by the people destroying organizational network, stealing others valuable data, document, hacking bank account and transferring money to their own and so on. My study gives detailed information regarding cybercrime, its types, modes of cybercrime, effects on both victims and offenders and also security measures including prevention to deal effectively with cybercrime. Finally this study was carried out in Cameroon and Buea municipality as case study.     



1.1 Background to Study

The rapid development of computer technologies has made significant changes to human activities in the world today. According to Stavrou (2001:18), “ICT provides several advantages such as convenience, increased data channels, and a multitude of opportunities for the integration of physical and virtual dimensions”. In fact, the efficient and effective power of information processing has made computer the most important tool for data processing. As a result, more and more data are processed and stored in computer systems.  Though computer technologies have enabled human activities to flourish, it has also become one of the major enablers for individuals to commit crime. Sullivan (1999:19) was of the view that “freedom, technological and societal advances usually come with a price” and this price is manifested in the high cost of computer crime. Moreover, Chawki (2009:16) observed that “technology is truly a double-edged sword that has transformed the classical and traditional forms of criminal behavior”.

             Consequently, the proliferation of ICTs and progressive development in digital transactions have created new opportunities and opened up new windows which have resulted in the emergence of new forms of criminal behavior. Likewise, Stavrou (2001:18) argued that “the application of ICT can make criminal activities occurring in the physical world more effective and efficient by providing new and enhanced opportunities for perpetrating cyber insecurities and crimes. The United States National Security Strategy acknowledges that the very technologies that empower humans to lead and create also empower those who would disrupt and destroy (United States National Security Strategy, 2010). Similarly, changes in technology transform the social construct, which in turn shape perceptions, experiences, attitudes and behavior (MacKenzie & Wajcman, 1999).  Following the development of mass media (radio in the 1920s, television in the 1940s, and Internet in the 1960s), conflicts has remarkably increased around the world (Manoff, 1998; Zeitzoff, 2011). This shows with the view that social media helps to mobilize, manipulate and expose violence and insecurity both online and injustices in the society (Joachim, 2017). Social media can therefore be seen as having both positive and negative influences especially during conflict situations. (Hence, Sheldon and Wright (2010:4) stressed that “cybercrime has escalated to an unknown scale, growing out of all proportion”. Accordingly, Toni (2010) argued that “as the use of information and communication technologies increases and evolves, incidents of technology crime are likely to increase as ICT continues to advance; there will be increasing opportunities for criminals to act unlawfully. In the same vein, Strandberg (1999:24) has predicted that cybercrime and insecurity is the wave of the future as computer world is perfect for criminal activities. In the same line, as technological innovations occur, so too do the opportunities to commit cyber-crime” Stavrou (2001:70). Internet crimes are the new factor of insecurity worldwide. However, a question may be raised concerning the current situation

In the Context of Cameroon, the view of (UNCTAD, 2005) report, Cameroon has the first position in ICT in Central African states and has benefited from ICT-based investments by international players such as Microsoft, Nokia, and Samsung. As such, the potential of computer technologies to facilitate crimes has given rise to a need to understand and measure cybercrime in the Buea Municipality as a leading city in ICT development in the Southwest region. Social media provide a platform through which societies can either be constructed or destabilized. In view of the ongoing bloody conflicts in Cameroon, this study examines the extent to which social media could pose as a security threat (with particular focus on community security) amongst adolescents in Buea, capital of the South West Region in Cameroon. During the early days of the crisis, separatists created Facebook pages / groups like Ambazonian Freedom Fighters, and widely spread messages on WhatsApp, to rally the masses, especially those from English speaking Cameroon as well as Anglophones in the Diaspora against the government. Through these pages, activists gained momentum to initiate strike actions and imposed ghost towns. Thus, confirming that Facebook and WhatsApp posed security threats by intensifying conflicts in their role as media. Activists use them to build their coercive apparatus (Gohdes, 2015). The spread of social media, driven by Internet boom and mobile technology, is fast changing the way society operates (Ungerer, 2012). Communication has for long been seen as an important means in the setting of human socialization (Lustig & Koester, 1999).

The use of these media platforms is likely to cause several negative effects for national security and unfavorable consequences for a state’s strategic interests. Nevertheless, their use can also lead to remarkable opportunities for a country, in order to reach its strategic relevant goals, understand how threats will work in the future, and figure out how counter their effects (Montagnese, 2011). Also, social media, a subset of ICTs, can be understood as online tools and utilities that allow for the dissemination of information online as well as participation and collaboration (Newson, Houghton & Patten, 2018). Similarly, social media can be viewed as online communications which use special techniques involving participation, conversation, sharing, collaboration and linkages (Chadwish, 2006).

1.2 Statement of Problem

Cyber insecurity is a global problem in the world at an alarming rate and Cameroon is not an exception. As a result, governments, businesses, and individuals all over the world are facing serious financial threats and new challenges of combating internet crimes. Its presence and impacts have been felt by the Banks and all individuals who have been e engaged in provision of services electronically (Abdallah, 2012). Internet -crimes range from hacking of official websites to abduction and soliciting by Cameroonian youths for money abroad. They spend hours browsing and sometimes stay awake all night to carry bad internet activities. This development has impacted negatively on Cameroon’s image in the global environment. Many companies in the western world have blacklisted credit card transactions coming from the country.

From the going, the following research questions were raised;

  1. What are the Causes of internet crimes in the Buea municipality and how have they affect Cyber Security?
  2. What are the effects and the losses of victims and offenders of Internet Crimes?
  3. What has the Government and the law been reacting to redress offenders and the victims?
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