Computer crimes and illegal internet activity are often an issue because the laws regarding computer usage do not advance as fast as the technology itself. For many, the very existence of computer crimes can be confusing, as they did not grow up with the ubiquitous internet access that we have now. This can lead to accidental violations, confusion about rights, and much more. To help, here are a few frequently asked question
What are cyber crimes?
The FBI provides examples of cyber crime that include things like stealing financial information, stealing intellectual property, compromising networks and presenting a risk to critical infrastructure. Generally, all of this is done remotely, over the internet, but there are exceptions. Some computer crimes are carried out on that device — such as hacking in and downloading information — and some happen on local networks.
Is everything on the internet forever?
It is best to treat everything you post on the internet as if it is going to be there forever. You cannot get it back or delete it. Even things that you do delete may be archived. Uploading something to the internet takes it from your local hard drive and puts it on a global network of computers and servers, and it’s virtually impossible to track every copy down.
Can you accidentally commit cyber crimes?
In some cases, you can. Intent often does play a role, though, and simply making a mistake with no intent to break the law is not always a crime. It’s hard to say since there are a vast array of potential crimes, but all allegations should be considered carefully to understand if intent was present.
Is cyber crime serious?
It certainly is, as the ramifications can change your life forever. Interestingly, people do have a tendency to think of some computer crimes — downloading files they don’t have permission to own, for instance — as less serious than other criminal actions. This is perhaps because these crimes can be committed in private, from a home computer. However, don’t make the mistake of assuming that means they’re not serious. If you are accused of a crime, you must know what legal defense options you have.