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Want to stay out of trouble? You could build an app for that.

For many people, computers and technological advances breed intrigue. If you want to challenge your coding capabilities, you may try to learn a new programming language or improve your previous work.

As a web developer, you probably enjoy looking through other people's code. Whether you're curious about what you could learn or question if you have the skill necessary to break through their firewalls, you might view computer hacking as a chance to see how good of a coder you are. However, do you know that putting your knowledge to the test could result in serious consequences?

Recent hack has the potential to affect more than government systems

In the recent FBI-related incident, hackers were able to gain access to over 23,000 people's personal information. But in addition to the names, addresses and job descriptions accessed, there is more for sale than stolen data.

Those responsible for the hack allegedly hope to make a "ransomware encryption package" available to other hackers. But while software development is often a tremendous undertaking, computer hacking is a crime, for which you could face serious penalties.

Could you face charges of cybercrime?

In Texas, there are multiple computer-related offenses for which you could face consequences. These include:

  • Using technology to solicit a child under the age of 17
  • Gaining access to a computer, system or network without permission
  • Presenting yourself as another person without their consent
  • Tampering with a program, system, network or software program to affect a voting system
  • Using identifying information of another person to defraud or harm someone

Depending on the specifics of the allegations you might face for your hack, you could face thousands of dollars in penalties. In extreme situations, consequences could include a first-degree felony with a life sentence in prison.

Considering infinite changes in technology, you probably want to continue challenging yourself. However, rather than addressing other's code, maybe your efforts would be best focused on developing your own app.

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