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How does California law define cybercrimes?

Have you ever been tempted to test your knowledge of computers and get past another computer's firewall or security systems? Have you ever considered taking data or information from another person's computer without their permission? Have you ever accessed another person's social media profile and altered information out of spite or perhaps as a joke?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, then you will want to continue reading today's post because if you don't already know, the actions above could result in criminal charges here in California. That's because they are considered cybercrimes; and depending on the type of crime committed and the damage it causes, severe legal consequences could follow.

Here in California, as is the case in other states as well, cybercrimes are defined as "criminal activity involving an information technology infrastructure." Our laws criminalize computer-related activities that could compromise computer networks and systems, or any data or information found on these networks or systems.

Take for example the scenarios we posed in the above questions. Hacking into another computer and taking information without someone's permission could both result in serious criminal charges that may include hefty fines and even jail sentences if convicted. Even something as innocent as changing information on another person's social media page could lead to charges that could leave you in need of a good lawyer and an even better criminal defense.

Because of the complexity of our legal system and the fact that it is always changing, it's difficult sometimes to know when an innocent act crosses the line into a crime. Hopefully, with the help of this post, we were able to distinguish this line a little better for our readers so that they can recognize when it may be necessary to seek legal representation and defend yourself against criminal charges.

Source: FindLaw, "California Computer Crime Laws," Accessed Feb. 9, 2015

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