Computer forensics is a branch of forensics sciences, and is increasingly becoming important in court cases as forms of cybercrime are on the increase. As a result of the work of these computer experts, evidence can now be brought to court cases to help solve some of the worst internet and technology based crimes. This is one of the most exciting and cutting edge career in the computer field today.
Computer forensics experts work a little differently from other forensics experts, however. Forensic science itself is quite an old field of study, although many fields of forensics rely on cutting edge technology to help solve their crimes. What is different with computer forensics is often the nature of the data being studied. Instead of simply taking regular fingerprints, “digital fingerprints” are also examined, meaning the traces left by a criminal in the data files of a computer. Instead of taking blood or DNA samples, the history of computer forensics examiner will also be examined. Computer forensics experts also tend to deal with murder crime scenes less and financial and business espionage crime scenes much more often.
However, there are important similarities between forensics work done on computers and other branches of the forensic sciences in that treating the data collected carefully is of the most importance. During your training to become a computer forensics specialist, you will learn not only how to analyze and collect data, but also how to prepare the documentation that the courts will need in order to accept this data during a case. You will also learn how to use sophisticated software to help analyze and retrieve data in crime scenes.
If you decide to pursue training to become a forensics specialist, you will have numerous employment options both in the private and the public sector once you have completed your training and received certification. For public sector jobs, you may be working with the police, military or similar institutions. Private sector work may be either for a company or a contract firm.
If you do work for the police or a similar agency, much of your time may be spent analyzing seized computers from crime scenes. Many criminals are unaware that simply emptying your computer’s trash bin does not erase data permanently from your computer and computer forensics specialists are often able to retrieve this data and use it to help convict criminals.
If you go to work for a private company, you may be in charge of such tasks as preventing the theft of sensitive data or doing forensics work after a breach has been discovered.