Computer crime law relates to a range area of criminal offenses committed online.
The internet has raised safety concerns for millions of users and has gifted criminals with anonymity and possible access to all kinds of data.
What is the main incentive of a computer crime? The financial benefit you might say, but not always. Some hackers defy the government and cyber security systems to attain “bragging rights.”
There are laws regarding computer crime both on state and federal levels. Those include Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA) which Congress passed in 1986. Right, considering the pace at which technology evolves that date might raise questions. And that is why computer crime laws continue to evolve leading to more recent acts such as the Identity Theft Enforcement and Restitution Act of 2008 (ITERA).
Most Common Types of Computer Crime
Hacking is probably the most well known. It occurs when someone gains an unauthorized access of another’s computer. It could result in an installation of viruses and worms which eventually can crash the whole computer system down.
Hackers can also steal personal information, credit card numbers and important passwords.
Internet privacy is also common and it has to deal with the notion very familiar to you – copyright. Someone violates internet privacy when sharing a copyrighted material without obtaining a permission of the creator. Music, photographs, video games, all that movies on the pirate websites, all count and violate the law.
Cyber terrorism is the youngest computer crime but has already earned the spotlight. This type is more about large scale attacks on governments and organizations rather than individuals and strives for mass fear and panic instead of financial gain.
Identity theft crimes have been on the rise since the internet has taken over the world. It mainly targets web users to reveal important security information, such as bank account and credit card numbers, home address, social security number and many other identity theft practices.
Always double check before entering sensitive information. Hackers can send emails pretending to contain a link to a website you’re familiar with but instead, use a copycat. Thereby, you can be tricked into seemingly secure action that you do often but end up with your information stolen.
The Worst Kind of Crimes
Familiarize yourself with the most vicious and consequence heavy deeds on the internet.
Stalking, Sex Crimes, Online Bullying.
It is pretty uncomfortable to realize that the most serious computer crimes have no incentive in fame, money or politics. Instead, their only goal is to cause emotional trauma.
And of course, the number one platform for these crimes is social media. It enables people to disseminate compromising content to harass the victim. You know how it works, once something gets into the online world it never gets out.
Such crimes can mostly affect youngsters who may be a bit careless while using social media and vulnerable to harassment. However, those crimes have shown to have devastating consequences for the adults as well. In a case of a recent memory, an Italian woman committed suicide tormented by a sex tape that went viral.
Child pornography is another widespread way of sexual offense, which authorities persecute extensively. Laws are also enacted to catch online users who attempt to seek underage individuals for sex purposes.
Computer crime laws are widespread and to spotting them remains a challenge. The legal system will have to catch up with the elaborate computer crime schemes. That is why we, as users and potential victims should be careful with what we do online and how we do it.