We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

How We Make Money

We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently from our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is Salami Slicing?

Mary McMahon
Updated May 16, 2024
Our promise to you
MyLawQuestions is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At MyLawQuestions, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Salami slicing is a pejorative term to describe engaging in a series of small illegal activities that, when added up, create a large impact and a potentially serious crime. In a simple example, a bank employee could always round down on transactions and pocket the difference. A few pennies here and there in small transactions is hard to spot, but the cumulative effect across numerous transactions could be significant. People also use this term outside the law, also in a negative sense, to describe situations where people try to get away with something by taking a series of small steps instead of one large and very obvious one.

For the person committing the crime, salami slicing can be a good strategy. It is harder to notice a cumulative crime than it is to identify one very large criminal act, and it may take time to realize what is going on. The salami slicing exploit is also used in computer hacking, to access a system by bits and pieces. If someone does start to notice, it can take time to identify the pattern, and it's possible some of the small actions will not be traceable, making it challenging to successfully prosecute the criminal.

The person engaging in salami slicing can keep an eye out for signs someone is aware of the activity, and may adjust the strategy or temporarily stop. This will lead people to relax their vigilance, thinking the problem is gone, allowing the criminal to start again. Over time, the losses as a result of the activity can be significant, including substantial funds, big data compromises, and other issues.

To prevent this type of fraud, people can use a number of techniques. Regularly scanning transactions and activities in a computer system can help people turn up irregularities or patterns of concern. Rotating employees and auditing to keep people constantly in motion can make it harder for someone to set up a salami slicing scheme. In computer security, an adaptive security system with multiple layers can identify intrusive attacks, even small ones, and address them to prevent a larger breach.

People may also talk about salami slicing in the sense of slowly chipping rights away or slowly changing the nature of a law. In regions where people have concerns about civil liberties and the rights of citizens, a small step to limit rights may be viewed with suspicion. People could fear that the one law will open the door to others, eventually eroding civil liberties and potentially having unintended consequences like limitations on free speech.

MyLawQuestions is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Mary McMahon
By Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a MyLawQuestions researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

Discussion Comments

By anon164612 — On Apr 01, 2011

Great article. I did not know this.

By anon164567 — On Apr 01, 2011

I fear that salami slicing is what's happening with Arizona's new ban on abortions for race/gender purposes. Once this law is firmly settled in, how long until it's slowly expanded upon?

By anon164523 — On Apr 01, 2011

very interesting article--even more so when I got to the last paragraph and realized that is what is happening in this country with our civil rights.

Mary McMahon

Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a...

Learn more
MyLawQuestions, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

MyLawQuestions, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.