The internet allows people to quickly and effectively communicate with each other and to verify information. It also facilitates a broad range of criminal activity. Those who use the internet for nefarious purposes are often eager to obfuscate their digital trails.
Many people don’t think about the misconduct of others when setting up their home or business internet. Unfortunately, failing to think about the crimes other people commit might lead to someone facing accusations of misconduct themselves. Unsecured Wi-Fi networks can be tempting for those with unsavory online habits.
Other people may access an open network
Those who do not set a password for their personal or business Wi-Fi networks may find that other people readily access their Wi-Fi for their own purposes. Although having a neighbor stream digital content using one’s Wi-Fi may not seem like a big issue, such activity could potentially lead to criminal prosecution.
If the records for someone’s IP address show certain kinds of criminal activity, such as downloading or uploading sensitive or illegal materials, the person who lives at that home or runs the business could face prosecution. Investigators might wrongfully assume that the person who set up the network is the one who provided or accessed those inappropriate materials, when in reality neighbors or even an opportunistic criminal walking by may have been the one to engage in that misconduct.
The right efforts to secure a Wi-Fi network can help prevent questions about who used someone’s internet service and why. Showing that an unsecured network may have been vulnerable to bad actors from outside the household might play a role in someone’s response to allegations of digital crimes, especially if the investigation did not turn up the specific devices involved in that misconduct.
Exploring every option for fighting major criminal charges can potentially help those accused of misusing the internet to avoid consequences for the missteps of others. Seeking legal guidance is a good way to start.