Easy to understand information to keep you within the law

The CMA is the Computer Misuse Act 1990. This is a Law passed by the British Government that prevents any one from gaining access to your computer, making alterations or erasing, moving items or stopping a computer working correctly without permission. A computer can also be your phone.

Why teach the Computer Misuse Act 1990?


Is the average age of arrest for cyber crime.

1 in 4

Teenager have admitted trying to compromise someone’s account.


Of teenagers have sent at least one virus in the last 12 months.


Of hackers started to hack before they were 16 years old.

Offences under the Computer Misuse Act 1990 include:

Section 1 > Unauthorised access to computer material.

Example: Without them knowing, you watched their friend put their password into their phone. You then used it to gain access to their phone and download their photos.

Max Penalty: 2 years in prison.

Section 2 > Unauthorised access with intent to commit or facilitate commission of further offences.

Example: Without their permission, you accessed your friends smartphone, obtaining their bank details, so you could transfer money from their account.

Max Penalty: 5 years in prison.

Section 3 > Unauthorised acts with intent to impair, or recklessness as to impairing, operation of a computer.

Example: You used a ‘booter tool’ to knock a friend off an online game.

Max Penalty: 10 years in prison.

Section 3ZA > Unauthorised acts causing, or creating risk, of serious damage.

Example: You hacked into the computer system of a government agency, and reckless as to the consequences. National security was undermined.

Max Penalty: Life in prison.

Section 3A > Making, supplying, or obtaining articles for use in another CMA offence

Example: You download a product to deploy malware to a friends computer, so you could control it. You don’t even get the chance to use it.

Max Penalty: 2 years in prison.

Teenage cybercrime: help your child make the right choice