When most people think about crime, they think about physical things. Somebody stole something. Somebody hit someone else. There was physical damage caused to a physical item. But there are a lot of crimes that involve technology these days, and these don’t deal with physical constructs so much as they deal with virtual or even psychological conditions.
Think of the few times where technology and criminality mix together. If you commit fraud via a computer, that is a crime. People can commit criminal acts against you if they hack into your data or manipulate your virtual presence. If you use aggressive or abusive language online, that is potentially a crime. And there are all sorts of criminal behaviors regarding privacy and security implications.
Even if you think it’s harmless, if you commit fraud online, it’s still a crime. Fraud takes many different forms, and every type has different implications and consequences. Stealing a physical product from someone is a crime, and just because you steal a virtual product instead, that doesn’t make it any different. If you are uncertain about the legality of an online behavior of yours, it is better to safely research it first rather than find out you’re doing something wrong later. If you’re arrested for fraud, you then immediately have to think about the consequences of that while you’re paying for your bail.
If someone hacks into your account using your login credentials, that is a crime. To prevent this as much as possible, you should use password best practices, and change passwords regularly, especially if there is a breach somewhere in the world and your name is on a database. Technology makes it easier than ever for smart hackers to get into unprotected systems, and this can have dire logistical consequences for you, your business, or your online brand.
Aggressive and Abusive Language
Just because you’re in front of the keyboard doesn’t mean that you can say aggressive and abusive things to people and that’s okay. Hate speech is illegal whether it is in person or online. If you think you can hide behind anonymity, there are ways of finding out who sent certain kinds of messages through certain messaging services, and even if you think it’s just a joke, people can sue you, and there is jail time for this potentially criminal offense.
Privacy and Security Implications
Technology is impressive in that it allows people to do more than ever with information. But it also means that other people can use nefarious tactics to get ahold of that information. Nothing is ever truly private when it is transferred as data online. Security measures are only as good as passwords or protected servers. There are lots of financial crimes that can occur because hackers find a way into this information and can quickly work different systems to try to get money out of them illegally, and then vanish without a trace.