There are many reasons why someone working in Missouri might feel as though they need to alter digital records on their employer’s computer network without permission. Perhaps someone made a mistake that could cost the company substantial money if the insurance company or investors discovered the mistake. Maybe you agreed to do something for your boss that you later found out could have legal implications.

Regardless of why you access your employer’s computer programming and data without authorization, you could face criminal charges related to those computer crimes if you get caught. Even tampering with the computers themselves could lead to criminal charges, provided that you knowingly alter or destroy data, software or hardware.

Tampering with programs and stored data is criminal

Computer data provides an important record for a company that can help them track everything from the efficiency of their employees to their financial solvency. Altering, deleting or tampering with digital records or the programs themselves can cost the company money, damage its ability to function and undermine the accuracy of claims about the business made to investors or prospective employees.

Much like it is a crime to tamper with security cameras or recording devices used to protect a business, it may also be a crime in certain circumstances to change programs or digital records without the authorization of the company. Depending on the goal of your actions, whether it was the destruction of evidence or the acquisition of money or assets that didn’t belong to you, the criminal charges you face could be either misdemeanor or felony charges.