Staying Legal: How to Stay Out of Trouble Online


The internet has given all of us a new-found freedom. It is a virtual playground of endless adventures, possibilities, and options. But the law does not cease to be applicable just because you are at the end of a connection rather than engaging in activities in person. Here we show you just what things are illegal online and how to stay out of trouble as you live your online life. We will look at some of these things and how we can be safe. One thing we concentrate on is secrecy, and using cryptocurrency, and if it’s legal or not?

Be Careful What You Write

It’s important to be aware that anything you write online, be it on Facebook, a chat, or your website or blog, can be taken as a publication. This means that you are subject to the same Libel laws that apply if you wrote the offending article in a newspaper, magazine, or book. You could also fall foul of hate crime laws if you write anything that would be considered to be covered by these offenses. Even youngsters (or adults) should be aware of the existence of laws in most states that guard against cyberbullying and harassment.

Copyright & Piracy

Sharing or downloading copyrighted material, such as films on torrent files is not legal unless you have permission from the copyright holder. Whether it’s for free or you pay for it, with regular funds or Bitcoins, you could be falling foul of the same legislation.

Read more: Security

Finance & Money

There are a lot of issues around money and online trading. If you treat online transactions in the same way you would any others, you should be fine. If you make money online, be sure you pay your taxes. One big question that comes up regularly, is Bitcoin legal? Simply put, yes it is, but it’s what you do with it that is either legal or otherwise.

Dark Web

The existence of the dark web is a controversial and often discussed subject. It is an ultra-secure and difficult to track area of the internet where you need specialist browsers and knowledge to access it. Surfing and trading on the dark web are not illegal activities in themselves, but criminals use the secure and secretive nature of it to facilitate illegal activities. The fact that such things occur, like cryptocurrencies and Bitcoin, which is as secure as the dark web itself, doesn’t mean that just because you purchase items in Bitcoin vis these sites, you are committing a crime.

Fake Identity

I think we all know that identity theft is a crime and should be avoided. However, there are other ways we can fall foul of fake identity laws. Technically, in many places, operating on social media under a pseudonym could constitute an offense. Making ‘deep fakes’ or ‘deep nudes’, altered pictures of an individual are now illegal in many places, such as Virginia.

Bekki Barnes

With 5 years’ experience in marketing, Bekki has knowledge in both B2B and B2C marketing. Bekki has worked with a wide range of brands, including local and national organisations.