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Hemamali Tennakoon

Dr.Hemamali Tennakoon is the Research and Policy Development Specialist for Sri Lanka Computer Emergency Readiness Team | Co-ordination Center (CERT|CC). She holds a B.A. (Hons.) in Business Administration from Staffordshire University, UK and Master’s degrees from University of Colombo, Sri Lanka and Kingston University, London.  She received her PhD in online Information security, privacy and Social commerce from Kingston University, London and is also a Professional Member of the British Computer Society.  As a former academic and a researcher, she is interested in studying the effects of privacy and security issues on human behavior in cyberspace. Currently, she is involved in policy development and conducting research for Sri Lanka CERT in the area of online security, privacy and online victimization.

Presentation Title
The psychological impact of Online versus offline victimization and victim support

Individuals perceive online and offline crime differently. Virtual criminality and its consequences can be significantly different to crimes committed in the physical world. Some might consider online crimes as less important than offline crime since their impact (mainly the physical impact) cannot easily be quantified nor measured. Also, the perpetrators are difficult to catch and legislation on cyber crime is often slack and inadequate to prosecute perpetrators. Unless the victimization is personal (involving self, family and friends), people tend to assign less importance to virtual crime thinking that our presence online is not as consequential as our presence in the physical world. Therefore, it is assumed that individuals have fewer rights in the online world and are responsible for their own behavior and consequences. 

However, the consequences of cyber crime may not always be physical and tangible. Depending on the type of crime, the psychological impact can far outweigh the other consequences. Some argue that certain types of crimes affect offline victims more than online victims (e.g. sexual assault) while it is also possible that the psychological impact could vary depending on the individual. The debate on what is more significant in determining the consequences of a crime, i.e. the crime itself, the environment or the victim is ongoing. However, this raises the question whether we have been fair in our treatment of online victims as opposed to offline victims. Victim support during post victimization is available in most cases for offline victims but not as adequately for online victims. Thus, from a societal and law enforcement point of view, it would be useful to discuss the psychological impact of online versus offline crime and how victims can be supported following an incident. Also, this presentation should leave the audience contemplating on best practices that could be adopted in providing online victim support in their respective organizations. 


Conference Highlights

New Venue
Don't miss the best cyber security conference in Australia at the Surfers Paradise Marriott, only 150 m from Surfers Paradise beach

Conference MC
Comedian and Mathematician Adam Spencer will host the conference, Gala Dinner and Speed Debate

Career Café
Retreat to the back of the exhibition away from the noise for a real coffee at the AusCERT2016 Career Café and chat with specialist Infosec recruiters