Cybercrime is a term that describes a broad range of offenses. Some offenses are familiar, such as fraud or theft, but perpetrators utilize the internet or a computer to facilitate the crime. Other examples, like hacking into a server, exist solely due to advancements in technology in recent decades.
The advent of the internet has required new laws regarding internet crimes, personal information and secure data. Keep reading for more information on cybercrime and what exactly qualifies as internet crime.
Types of internet crimes
According to USA.gov, some common examples of cybercrime include:
- Data breaches where someone leaks confidential information
- Credit card fraud where fraudsters gain someone else’s credit card information to make purchases
- Using malware to infect computers or systems, disabling them entirely
- Fraud involving auction sites where the “seller” receives money but does not deliver the goods
- Phishing scams where fraudsters utilize fake emails, websites or other tactics to gain personal information like passwords and account numbers
California’s knowledge requirement
Internet crimes vary from state to state. According to FindLaw, California requires that the prosecution in a cybercrime case proves that the defendant knowingly committed an internet crime. If the defendant accidentally committed the crime, it may be more difficult to prosecute them for the crime. Additionally, the prosecution must prove that the defendant did not have permission or authorization to access the server or other information in question.
For people facing cybercrime charges, the courts may issue both fees and jail time. Worst-case scenarios can result in up to three years in state prison with a $10,000 fine.