Computer-related crimes have gained momentum in recent years since PCs and laptops have become necessities for so many individuals and businesses.

These are serious crimes that are often labeled as felonies. What constitutes a computer-related crime in the state of Florida?

Hacking issues

According to Florida statutes, a computer-related crime begins when someone “willfully, knowingly, and without authorization or exceeding authorization” commits an offense against computer users, systems, networks or electronic devices. Hacking is one such offense. Gaining unauthorized access to a computer system to obtain information stored in the system is illegal.

Computer contaminants

There are various kinds of computer viruses that are especially troublesome for people who operate personal computers. The computer contaminant is a malicious code or program that can spread between computers through USB or flash drives, a network file system or the internet. The goal of a computer virus is to destroy data and cause harm to a computer.

Government computer disruption and more

It is also illegal for someone to interrupt or harm a “governmental or public communication, transportation, or supply of water, gas, or other public service.” If the objective is to defraud or to obtain property, or if the activity jeopardizes human life or disrupts a computer network or system that affects medical care, the crime is a first-degree felony.

Civil action

In addition to any other remedy that might be available, the owner or lessee of a computer, computer data, computer system or network may be able to bring a civil action for compensatory damages against someone convicted of a computer-related crime.

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