Computer crimes and defending yourself against identity theft

Computer crime is a category of offenses that you could be accused of if a computer was part of a criminal act you were or allegedly were involved with. Sometimes, computer crimes are named similarly to crimes that don’t use the computer. For instance, fraud can be computer or Internet fraud, or it can simply be fraud.

Computer crimes can involve several kinds of acts. For example, if you introduce a virus to a computer, then you can be accused of a crime. If you use a computer to defraud someone, like if you decide to steal someone’s identity, then that’s a computer crime as well. Taking data, copying programs, falsifying emails, or stealing information services are all kinds of crimes that can lead to charges.

Of course, because a computer is involved, it’s possible to be falsely accused of a crime. You could, for instance, have forgotten to log out of a social media page, so then someone took it and used it to defraud others. It would be easy to frame you in that case, but you could also equally report that your identity was stolen and that you’re actually a victim.

Be careful when you give out information like your address, Social Security number, or other identifying information. It can be difficult to get your identity back and to clear your name if your vital information is stolen, like the Social Security ID, which is unique to each individual in the United States. If you find out that your identity is being used to commit crimes, then you may want to discuss your legal options soon, so you can start getting your good name back.

Source: FindLaw, “Computer Crime,” accessed Aug. 04, 2015