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What is Cyber-Crime?

Posted by Larry Avallone | Feb 04, 2016 | 0 Comments

What is a computer crime or cyber-crime as they are often called?

A cyber-crime is quite simply a criminal offense committed via the Internet or a crime that is perpetuated by use of computer technology. For example, the use of online social networks to bully others, or sending sexually explicit digital photos with a smart phone.

Computer crime is a very broad category that covers a variety of offenses. Some of these crimes can also be committed without the use of a computer, such as fraud. Examples of computer crimes are

  • Improperly accessing a computer or network
  • Changing, damaging, using, disclosing copying or taking programs or data
  • Introducing a virus into a computer system
  • Using a computer to commit fraud
  • Interfering with another person's computer access
  • Stealing information service from a provider

Cyberbullying is a crime that has increased in recent years. The term cyberbullying means to use the internet and/or mobile technology to harass, intimidate or cause harm to another person. Cyberbullying can be even more traumatic than in person bullying. The bullying and harassment can be viewed by literally everyone that the child, knows.  In recent year's laws have been put in place in some states to specifically address the problem of cyberbullying.

In Florida, the “Jeffrey Johnston Stand Up for All Students Act”, prohibits bullying of any K-12 student or staff member, and it includes specific references to cyberbullying. While the law doesn't include criminal sanctions for such acts, it directs school districts to draft policies and to report instances of bullying.

Penalties for this type of cyber-crime range from civil penalties, school suspensions and even jail time depending on the severity of the crime. This is a rapidly evolving area and seeking the advice of an attorney is recommended if you are not sure what your situation is.

Sexting is the transmission of nude images and/or suggestive material via text messages. These transmissions can be text messages or image-based and usually occur via cell phones, smart phones, computers, or tablets. There are not many “sexting laws” on the books.  Most prosecutions in this area occur when pictures of minors are transmitted which violate child pornography laws. These types of violations result in some of the most serious charges with very stiff penalties and long term consequences.

Identity theft occurs when someone uses another's personally identifying information, like their name, identifying number, or credit card number, without their permission, to commit fraud or other crimes.  This is usually done as a method to gain a financial advantage or obtain credit and other benefits in the other person's name.  The person whose identity has been stolen could suffer adverse consequences in the event that he or she is held responsible for the perpetrator's actions.

Contact Larry Avallone now if you have questions about any type of cyber-crime.

About the Author

Larry Avallone

Larry Avallone is a Volusia County Florida based Board Certified Criminal Trial Attorney. He has been a Deputy Sheriff and a State Prosecutor and he exclusively practices criminal defense law.

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