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Social media and crime: What you need to know

There is no denying the fact that social media use is on the rise, with more people than ever before spending time on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and a variety of other platforms. For this reason, it is only natural for social media crime to increase as well.

While most people use social media in the way it is intended, others look at this as a way to commit a crime. Of course, there are times when it appears that a person has committed a digital crime, but this is not actually true.

Some of the most common crimes linked to social media include:

-- Social media sexual harassment.

-- Burglary via social networking.

-- Phishing.

-- Malware.

-- Identity theft.

-- Cyberstalking.

When you look at these types of crimes, it is easy to see just how serious they can be. At the same time, it is easy to understand how there could be gray area. For example, one person may feel that he or she is being stalked on social media by another. However, the person who is accused is not stalking the person at all. Instead, he or she is simply using the social media platform to stay connected.

As the use of social media continues to rise, so will the number of people who commit digital crimes. Unfortunately, the number of falsely accused people will also increase over time.

There are responsibilities associated with using social media. For people accused of a digital crime, they should learn more about the charges and what they can do to clear their name.

Source: National White Collar Crime Center, "Criminal Use of Social Media," accessed April. 09, 2015

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Robert D. DiDio
& Associates

8002 Kew Gardens Road
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