Defining Computer Crime and Technology Misuse

Revised by Karen Eder

Loosely defined, the terms "computer crime" and "technology misuse" pertain to any intentional or unintentional harm done to or with information and/or hardware that may result in losses of, or injury to, property, services, and people. For our operational purposes, we have used the term "computer crime" to refer specifically to actions which are against local, state or federal laws. We have used the term "technology misuse" for situations where the legalities are unclear (e.g. remote examination of others data or records without their specific permission as discussed in the Computer Hacking section).

Although the topics presented in this paper may be considered to have primarily negative effects, it is important to consider how these issues have pushed the technology envelope, and have lead to the development of more advanced innovations such as web site filters and antiviral software. It is our intent to help administrators, educators, parents and students become aware of these issues in order to better and more efficiently use technology as a tool for promoting education.


Web Resources:


Computer Crime



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