Minnesota residents who try and follow news about online safety and security know that this can be a very tricky area. While certainly there is a need to ensure that people's data and activity online are safe, it is also important to understand the difference between illegal activity and some type of bug in a computer system or even a standard marketing campaign. Many people may get annoyed at marketing emails and assume spam and phishing messages are the same.
If you have ever heard or read reports of people being charged with internet crimes in Minnesota, you might wonder just what is phishing and how is it different that other marketing emails that people might refer to as junk or spam. This is a legitimate question and the fact is that the two can sometimes seem similar but the law does distinguish between them in very clear ways.
State and federal laws relating to alleged crimes committed online or via software may be difficult for people in Minnesota or other states to fully understand. Additionally, the nature of the Internet means that these events are often not relegated only to one legal jurisdiction or state. The data breach that has been exposed recently regarding one of the big three credit monitoring agencies is a great example of this.
Residents in Minnesota and around the nation may well be feeling concerned about what is perhaps one of the largest and most concerning data breaches to be experienced in recent years. One of the three largest credit monitoring organizations has said that personal information for more than 140 million people may have been accessed inappropriately or even fraudulently.
Minnesota residents who have heard reports of people being accused of crimes online may wonder exactly how these alleged crimes are defined. One such action is referred to as cyberstalking or cyberharassment. Symantec, the software company that manufacturers the popular antivirus program Norton, indicates that it is essentially actions that make use of internet technology for the purpose of stalking others online rather than in person.
Like many other terms, people often make references to child pornography without fully understanding exactly what it may mean in the eyes of the law. It is important for Minnesota residents to have an understanding of this because there may be things that could be considered child pornography that they are not aware of.
Most Minnesota residents who have a computer are probably familiar with things like antivirus software or spyware programs. These products are designed to protect computers and networks against hackers or computer viruses that may corrupt or steal data. The online world has given rise to new opportunities in many ways and some people have turned to it for illegal activities. However, just as with any type of crime, the line between what is ethical and what is not can sometimes be hard to distinguish.
Most Minnesota residents have heard about several types of data breaches or online security threats in the recent years. From problems involving some of the nation's biggest retailers to concerns about the security of health care information, there seems to be no end to these types of accusations or events. Understanding them can be complex, however.
If you are like many people in Minnesota, you probably use the internet to find new opportunities and experiences. Some of these experiences may be romantic in nature, but if the person on the other end of that cyber connection is a minor, you could find yourself charged with an internet sex crime. Here at Joseph S. Friedberg Chartered, we often hear from clients that they didn’t know the other person they were talking to was underage. Is it still illegal if the age of the other person is misrepresented?
While many people are familiar with stalking, cyberstalking is a newer term that has emerged in the digital age. In Minneapolis, and across the whole state of Minnesota, people may find themselves in serious trouble over cyberstalking allegations. In some cases, those who are accused may not even realize that a law was broken, while others are innocent altogether and still face harsh penalties for an offense that never even occurred.