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What are some internet crimes you might commit without realizing?

It's possible to break laws without even realizing you've done it. In fact, for most people, it's hard not to admit to committing a crime at least once in their lives. Many people commit crimes unwittingly, not realizing they're committing them at the time.

One of the cyber crimes you may have committed without realizing it is stealing internet. Connecting to an unsecured Wi-Fi network is not legal. Connecting to unsecured wireless networks without permission violates the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act.

Unlawfully accessing computers or their networks is a third-degree felony with a prison sentence minimum of two years upon conviction. You can face up to $10,000 in fines, too.

While it's not very common for someone to be arrested for using another person's wireless without permission, it has happened in several states including Ohio, Alaska, Michigan and Illinois. The best bet to avoid it is to make sure you keep an eye on the networks you connect to and only join those in which you have a password.

Another internet crime you could commit without realizing it is using a fake name online. While many people do this to protect their identities, it is, again, a violation of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. Using a fake name can end up getting you accused of using fraudulent information, which can result in a fine and other penalties.

Overall, if you question whether or not you should use a fake name or an unsecured wireless connection, the answer is no. If you're charged, you'll need to defend yourself to protect your freedoms.

Source: Cracked, "6 Laws You've Broken Without Even Realizing It," Cezary Jan Strusiewicz, accessed Oct. 31, 2017

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