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Online activities that can lead to internet crimes charges

South Carolina residents may be accused of crimes they were not even aware of committing. In this age of advanced computer technology and nearly unlimited access to the internet, people may consider what they are doing as normal and harmless while, in fact, they may be busy unknowingly committing internet crimes. While identity theft is known to be criminal, it may be beneficial to be aware of other actions that can bring about arrests and criminal charges.

The threat of a stalker in real life involves that person's constant presence, intimidation and harassment, but this also happens online. A cyber stalker can do the same through electronic communications, such as texts and emails. It is also unlawful to threaten anybody with violence or other criminal threats through social media sites, emails, text messages or by using any electronic device. Even an idle threat made in a moment of anger can land a person behind bars.

While people are always busy swapping images without copyrights online, it is illegal to disclose sexual images without the subject's consent. Related laws followed a craze of revenge porn posted by people who were bitter about romantic breakups. Another seemingly innocent activity is online gambling, even if it is comparable to a March Madness pool at the office. If the organizer of such an online pool profits from running it, it becomes an illegal activity.

Gaining unauthorized connection to someone else's wifi is also a crime under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. Most of these crimes are difficult to prove, and South Carolina residents who are accused of internet crimes may be tempted speak candidly in attempts to defend themselves. However, the most appropriate step would be to consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney before reacting to any allegations. A lawyer can assess the charges and work on the best defense strategy.

Source: FindLaw, "5 Computer Crimes That Can Get You Arrested", George Khoury, Oct. 18, 2016

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