Massachusetts Legal Developments Blog

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Cybercrime

 

The cyber world has improved society in many outstanding ways, but it has also opened the door to a host of crimes. Cybercrimes are committed through social media, the internet, and other tools of modern technology. Many criminals use these items to abuse children, extort money, or steal identities. Years ago, criminals committed these crimes in person, but in today's cyber world, criminals can carry out these crimes with a simple smartphone or laptop computer. Below are some examples of cybercrimes.

Computer Crime

Computer crimes govern a very broad category, and a computer or the internet is utilized to commit these crimes. Often in a court of law, computer crimes can carry offenses or punishments equivalent to larceny or fraud. A criminal defense attorney can explain the possible outcomes of a computer crime conviction. Computer crimes may include:

  • Hacking a computer or interfering with an individual's computer access

  • Modifying, copying, using or damaging computer programs, software, or data

  • Utilizing a computer to commit a scam or fraud

  • Stealing data or information from a computer

  • Accessing a computer system or network without permission

  • Utilizing a computer to falsify information

  • Incorporating a virus into a computer system

Sexting

Sexting is the delivery of suggestive materials or nude photographs through a text message. Sexting can be performed on smartphones or computers. Sending suggestive pictures to minors can lead to criminal charges. Sending suggestive pictures featuring minors can lead to charges of distributing child pornography, which can have severe consequences. Depending on the circumstances, a conviction of sexting can cause the perpetrator to be placed on a lifelong sex offender registry.

Cyberbullying

Cyberbullying is a form of bullying that uses digital technology such as computers, smartphones, cell phones, social media, text messaging, chat rooms or websites to intimidate, harass, or stalk an individual. It can include threats of violence or the distribution of sexually explicit photos or messages to embarrass or shame the victim.

Cyberbullying is enforced under bullying laws in most states. In the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, cyberbullying falls under general criminal statutes related to bullying. It may involve harassment, stalking, or annoying conversation via phone or electronic communication. Stalking can happen in person or as a cybercrime using electronic technology.

Phishing

Phishing is a cybercrime by which an individual sends legitimate-appearing emails in an effort to obtain personal or financial data from email responders. Often the messages appear to come from legitimate and well-known websites that the recipient may use or be familiar with in business. Individuals should never respond to these bogus emails.

Identity Theft

One of the most serious cybercrimes is identity theft. Many identity thieves utilize the internet and electronic technology to steal personal information. The perpetrators can hack computers and steal social security numbers, bank accounts, personal emails, and other private information.

If you have been charged with committing a cybercrime, you need to contact a criminal defense attorney immediately. The consequences can be devastating and may include jail or prison time. Boston Criminal Defense Attorney, Edward Molari can provide you with legal advice that may help reduce the punishment or lessen the charge. He cares about your situation and provides personalized legal services in every case.  Contact Attorney, Edward Molari at 617-942-1532 for a free consultation.