Don't break the law

Don't be a bad person

Committing online crimes are (in a sense) easier to do. This is because it doesn't feel like committing a crime in the normal sense. It is not like we are stealing a car and does not necessarily have that same guilty feeling associated with it.

Nevertheless, even if a crime does not feel wrong, that does not mean that it isn't wrong. You have to learn to be an ethical person online and no download software illegally. Software downloaded illegally often contains malware (see Protect your computer). So, if you want to be a good person and be assured that your software is malware free, rather buy software, music, games etc. from legitimate stores.

Frequently committed online crimes

You may not have realized, but most people on the Internet break the law every day. Others argue that small or petty crimes (like downloading software illegally) is not a crime since everyone does it. That still does not make it right, however.

The following are four of the most common crimes committed online:

Downloading music, games or movies

How would you like it if you worked really hard and then not be compensated for all your hard work? That is exactly what happens if you download music, games or movies illegally. The artists, game developers or directors put millions of dollars into producing the music, game or movie. By buying their product gives them the recognition of their talent and allows them to make more in the future.

Redistribution of bought music, games or movies

You are legally allowed to make one copy of a disc you buy (to serve as a back-up). However, it is illegal to upload the contents of that disc unto the Internet for other people to download (whether you allow them to download it for free or not). That disc is copy righted which means that you are not allowed to make copies and resell it!


Plagiarism is the act of using someone else's word or ideas and passing it off as your own. That means "copy and pasting" a paragraph of text from a website and using it in your school assignments are also considered illegal. You must always rephrase and reword anything you include into your own projects. It is also important to refer to the original author so as to acknowledge that it is not your own thoughts.

Impersonating someone

The Internet has made communication between you and your friends a lot easier. It has also made it easier to impersonate someone, since we don't always see one another face-to-face when communicating. So, it is illegal to impersonate anyone - even one of your closest friends. Logging into someone else's account without their consent is considered impersonation. You should always have someone's permission before accessing anything that does not belong to you!