Internet & Online Safety News - Law and Daily Life

Law & Daily Life - The FindLaw Life, Family and Workplace Law Blog

Recently in Internet & Online Safety Category

Referred to as the 'Netflix tax,' Pennsylvania will soon start charging a sales tax on digital downloads and online streaming services. The six percent tax will apply to video, music, and app subscription services like Netflix, Hulu, Spotify, and Apple Music.

So is binge watching about to bust your budget? Probably not, and here's why:

Yes, this whole Pokémon Go thing is crazy. It's got more daily users than Twitter, players are battling over the White House, and weather websites are telling users how to take advantage of lightning to catch Electrabuzz. Suffice it to say, while Pokémon Go may seem like just a digital game, its augmented reality platform means it is having some real world implications.

So before you hit the Pokémon gym this weekend and pump imaginary iron (that's how all of this works, right?), make sure you're aware of all the legal implications of playing Pokémon Go.

Don't get mad, as the saying goes, get even. That sounds like great personal advice right after a nasty breakup, but it's not always great legal advice. While you may want to put your ex on blast on social media, putting personal information out there could be illegal.

So what kind of secrets can you reveal on social media, and which might get you into trouble?

Amazon Sues Sites Selling Fake Reviews

Do you rely on reviews by other online consumers to decide what to buy? Have you ever been nudged toward a particular product based on the amazing reviews? Well, if so, you may have to reconsider how you choose your products and whether you can really rely on the rating you see online.

A lawsuit filed by Amazon last month targets websites that sells positive reviews, reports Geek Wire, in an effort to crack down on what the company calls "an unhealthy ecosystem developing outside of Amazon to supply inauthentic reviews." So those in the business of selling ratings, beware.

CA Jurors Caught Using Social Media May Soon Be Fined $1,500

It is tempting in this time when we are all reporting our lives on social media to tweet or post from court if you're a juror. Your jury service is indeed interesting but it's also one time when you might not want to express yourself.

As a juror, you are part of a legal proceeding; you're not present as a spectator or a journalist. Disobeying the rules is punishable but it also can lead to a mistrial. Now a bill in California proposes to fine smart tech use by jurors, reports CBS Sacramento, up to $1,500.

The Internet can be a big, scary place, and you've got to worry about everything from who your kids might be chatting with to who might have access to your credit card information. While being online can make communication and commerce easier, it can make protecting your personal information and even personal safety harder.

Here are seven tips for staying safe online:

Check the BBB Scam Tracker Ahead of Online Deals

We book rooms in people's houses rather than stay in hotels, and we get rides from strange drivers in their personal vehicles instead of grabbing a cab, so of course we buy stuff online, too. With new technology making it possible, every year we grow more accustomed to doing deals a little differently.

But the ease with which we now exchange with strangers also makes us more susceptible to scams. Enter the Better Business Bureau's Scam Tracker. The online tool allows people to report suspected illegal schemes or frauds, and warn others what to watch out for when they've been scammed.

Scams are all around us. Fake wedding vendors; fake office supplies; and even fake grandchildren in distress. And now fake jury duty?

Most people do everything they can to avoid jury duty, and now they have to tray and avoid a jury duty scam so convincing it almost duped an experienced lawyer. Here's how it works:

Can Facebook Contact Violate a Restraining Order?

You're online and your social network serves up a profile. It's someone you know and loathe: that person who also has a restraining order against you. Can you tag or comment or contact them in any way?

No. It is far better to be safe than sorry when it come to no-contact orders. Contact via social media is most definitely contact. A judge in New York last week ruled that commenting on a Facebook page can violate a protective order even if the post has no profanity or threats, the American Bar Association reports.

When writing about broad legal topics for these blogs, we often bring up specific examples to explain the law. For instance, we used Bill Cosby's wife to talk about when spouses can be forced to testify. Of course, Camille Cosby and her husband are public figures, so that comes with the territory, so to speak.

Not everyone whose case we write about is famous (yet), and we often get angry calls, emails, or tweets, when someone sees their name or legal case on our websites. Here's the thing though: almost all civil and criminal legal filings are public records, and the First Amendment protects publishing them.