From sponging off someone else’s Wi-Fi to blocking ads on websites, we look at 9 things you do that are actually illegal.
9. Sampling at the Supermarket
Have you ever plucked a couple of grapes from the bag in the produce section and popped them in your mouth? If so, then it could be considered theft.
Customers may say they have to sample the grapes to “test” them. It might be a good argument, but think about it…. they don’t do it when they buy meat from the case, milk from the cooler, or bread from the bakery. Imagine seeing a customer open a bag of bread and sample a slice, making sure it’s not stale.
A representative from the National Association for Shoplifting Prevention says that doing such a thing in a supermarket is considered stealing.
8. Using Someone Else’s Wi-Fi
Turning on your laptop or tablet and selecting one of the available Wi-Fi signals may be convenient if you really need to use the Internet, but it’s also illegal.
In the United States, there are federal and state laws that say people can’t connect to another Wi-Fi network unless they have authorization, although these laws can vary. Even though using someone else’s Wi-Fi is very common, this law is barely enforced, possibly because it’s hard to detect illegal use.
Despite enforcement of the law, people have still been arrested. One guy in Florida was arrested and charged with “unauthorized access to a computer network”, which is a third degree felony. So it’s probably just better to get your own. It’s a piggyback ride not worth taking.
7. Not Picking Up Poop
Nobody likes to pick up poop left by their beloved dogs, but not doing so in public can cost owners a lot of money.
Many states have laws where you must pick up after your dog or pay hefty fines. The state of New Jersey even says that dog owners must pick up after their dogs on a weekly basis, on their own properties! The United States isn’t the only country with laws that require owners to clean up after their dogs, either. Canada and the United Kingdom are two others.
Chances are that such laws exist because, contrary to popular belief, dog poop is actually harmful to the environment and can’t be used as manure. This is because a dog’s diet is much different than that of a cow’s. Something to remember when taking your dog for a walk.
6. Using a Fake Name
This is something many Internet users have done to try and protect their identity, or maybe just as a joke. However, entering fake information to gain access anywhere on the Internet is illegal.
Just ask the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. Entering false information into a website to gain access in a way its owner didn’t authorize is considered hacking, and can get you arrested. The penalty is 5 to 20 years in prison.
One man in Rhode Island created a fake Facebook account of his boss, which landed him in hot water. He had to pay $500 to the Victims Indemnity Fund… all for using fraudulent information.
5. Blocking Ads
Most Internet users hate viewing websites only to have all those pesky ads in the way. Ad-blocking software can get rid of the ads, creating many benefits to the user such as a faster loading speed. But, it’s illegal.
While impossible to enforce, ad blockers make it so users can view a website for free. Most of these websites depend on these ads to keep them going. As a result of ad-blocking software, advertisers can lose billions of dollars in revenue.