There are numerous computer related crimes that have cropped up in this time and age of technology. Computer crimes are criminal offences committed by a person either intentionally or unintentionally. It involves contravening the set laws that address the activities of a person using a computer. They could be committed at an individual or organizational level. When committed, computer crimes have a significant impact on the life of the individual or the operations of the organization involved. This paper will address the issue of how computer crimes led to the alteration the judicial system as well as law enforcement. Furthermore, the paper will discuss the consequences related to engaging in computer crimes and the legislations enacted in an effort to curb the vice.
According to Dacca (2005), there has been a dramatic increase in computer related crimes due to one main reason. He suggests that the affordability and ease of access of a computer and the internet have considerably facilitated computer crimes. Computer crimes affect the body and mind of the individual caught up in the fray. An innocent and oblivious individual suffers several consequences of computer crimes. To begin with, the person’s right to privacy is compromised. The hacker engaging in computer crimes places in jeopardy the targeted individual’s privacy by sending viruses, committing electronic fraud, as well as distortion of files through hacking. When the targeted individual’s or organization’s computer systems are hacked by the criminal, they stand to face massive damages such as financial losses. Apart from that, malicious hackers may even disseminate offensive content to the targeted user or organization. This means that both the social and economic aspects of the individual are greatly interfered with (Dacca, 2005).
According to Redondo (1997), the major reason for the proliferation of computer crimes is that there are numerous computer users but with very minimal computer skills. He suggests an increase in computer proficiency as an effective means of curbing the vice. According to Dacca (2005), computer crimes are centered on computer hardware functionality, especially crimes that involve the use of communication systems. There are numerous computer operated communication systems that are readily available in the market. For instance, the use of personal computers, laptops and mobile smart phones to gain access to the World Wide Web provides an opportunity for offenders to carry out their malicious operations. Since the World Wide Web provides an indispensable platform for global computer communications, it predisposes computer users to potential computer criminals and attacks. It is through the web that computer criminal gain information and access to the computers of individuals and organization networks. They are then able to collect or send data or information from the target computers that they use for their malicious intents and purposes.
In order to curtail such activities and protect the privacy of organizations and individuals, legislations have been enacted to control and regulate computer crimes. The current legislation has put in place drastic measures that are to be followed in the event that a computer criminal is apprehended. According to the penal system, computer crimes are considered as the substantial or insubstantial trespass into property on cyberspace belonging to a different person or group without their informed consent. The property infringed upon does not belong to the offender, and the trespass is of a malicious nature. The law has set effective rules s concerning such kind of infringement on the digital property. It is these rules that are applied when handling such cases of computer crimes. These rules require proper adjudication and enforcement of the laid down computer crime laws. These laws provide a clear solution to the crimes committed in cyberspace (Redondo, 1997).
In conclusion, it is evident that computer crimes are a real and challenging threat of modern times. It is greatly enhanced by the ease of access of technological devices and means of communications. Its effects are felt at both the organizational and at the individual level. Therefore, the threat it poses cannot be ignored. The solutions to alleviate the problem lie in enhancing computer proficiency as well as enacting appropriate legislation that would protect users from computer crimes. Such measures would ensure that the users and organizations of computer systems are shielded from the devastating effects of computer crimes.