A man's wife mysteriously disappeared, and he told investigators of a dangerous criminal who held him and his wife at gunpoint and kidnapped the wife. This tragic story circulated around the news until something strange came up. When investigators known as computer forensic experts, access his internet search history, they found that he had looked up information on "how to kill my wife" and "drown someone in ocean". Other search results pointed investigators to the specific location of where the murder happened, and after they found the body they were able to get the man to confess to murdering his wife. In the emerging field of computer forensics, also known as cyber forensics, investigators are able to look hard at computers to compile evidence for criminal cases. Start your computer forensics training from any of the IT colleges listed.
Using the latest advances to fight crime on the technological front, these modern day Sherlock Holmes investigators are able to strike fear into the hearts of criminals by finding out information about them that they never even knew what being recorded at all. If you have an interest in fighting crime using the latest technological tactics, then obtaining an Associate's degree in computer forensics programming will promote you into this exciting and emergent field.
Computer forensics is ultimately a career in law enforcement. Instead of hitting the street, examining crime scenes, and interviewing witnesses like a detective might, you're responsible for investigating the technology potential suspects have used. A computer forensics analyst is proficient at searching hard drives for hidden or deleted files, and is also advanced in using encryption decoding techniques or other file recovery programs. A computer forensics expert will need to work alongside other investigators as part of a larger team, and likewise must be prepared to testify in court should it be necessary to do so.
In computer forensics training programs, you will acquire a unique set of skills and knowledge. Instead of just obtaining a computer science degree, your Associate's Degree in computer forensics programming will present a skillset designed to find data and use the latest tools of technology to acquire it. Your education will cover courses related to digital storage devices, computer operating systems, programming languages, and state-of-the-art software developments. Critical thinking skills are also essential in the forensics field, as is the ability to work in a team and to consider the ethics and obligations of your duties.
This might at first seem like a rather narrow field, in the sense that it involves simply finding information on suspects' computers to potential convict or acquit a defendant. However, the world of crime and justice is limitlessly diverse, and many computer forensic experts discovery that they develop a specialization in particular fields of crime. While you may be hired by a police department, a government agency, or even work as an independent expert consultant, you will likely come across computer forensic assignments related to digital crimes, hacking, child exploitation, financial fraud, and many other computer related crimes. Since individuals continually conducting more and more of their lives digitally, this means more and more crimes and evidence are digital as well. This area of justice is considered to become increasingly essential, which means experts like you are increasingly essential as well.
Criminals beware! With investigatory techniques advanced enough to trace what search you've run on Google, what documents are in or used to be in your hard-drive, and what your electronic habits are, criminals will be thinking twice before committing any crimes. Once you receive your Associate's Degree in forensics programming, you will become part of the intimidating force of justice that convicts the guilty. Now is the time to enroll in this exciting and advancing field that used to be the stuff of science fiction.
Intro to Computer Systems – Take a brief course regarding an intro to computers. Most intro courses will go over the basics but focus on topics for your forensics degree.
Security Auditing – One of the top areas you’ll focus on it computer forensics is assessing the risk companies have in regards to their networks. You’ll learn how to assess that risk, find weaknesses and even implement new policies and procedures to protect the data of the company.
Corporate Security Measures – Learn how to create new security protocols for different industries. Some companies might be handling sensitive information such as social security numbers or credit cards where others might store medical information. Each environment is different and you’ll learn what techniques work for what situation.
Criminal Justice – Learn about our criminal justice system and how it relates to digital crim. Learn about how to give testimony if ever asked to testify in a trial. Go over everyone’s digital fingerprint and how courts are more involved than ever prosecuting digital thieves.
Cloud Security – More and more security is needed now that corporations are using cloud databases to store information. This means companies are more vulnerable and additional security measures are needed to protect your data.
Digital Forensics – Learn how to investigate illegal activity in a computer or network. Trace and track movements by anyone entering the network and learn ways in which to catch unwanted visitors.
Cyber Crime and Cyber law – Learn about all the different cyber-crimes and how individuals get caught. Learn about traits and how to spot a potential risk in a computer network.
Malware Vulnerability – Malware can sometimes be installed unintentionally by employees. These malware software packages can spread from computer-to-computer and allow outsiders full access to valuable information.
Database – Often forensics involves taking a look at databases to find out how and how was able to access them. Learn how to build and reverse engineer databases as a database administrator in order to become familiar with how they work.
Careers in this field range from financial institutes to government positions. It will be up to you to help your employer collect evidence, decode encrypted files and even testify when needed Below are just a few of the careers and industries you can qualify for when you graduate with your Associate’s degree in computer forensics.
Corporate Security Analyst – Be hired to conduct audits of current computer systems as well as specific cases that that company feels fraud might have been a factor.
Hospitals – Protect valuable patient data including health records. Since all health records are digital these days hospitals are spending a great amount of money hiring computer forensics experts to make sure the data remains unharmed.
Law Firms – Law firms hire forensic experts to investigate claims for their client as well as hire expert witnesses such as yourself to testify.
Governments – Taxes, social security, military information and more are just a few of the valuable things our US government must keep secure at all times. As a government forensics analyst you’ll work on specific areas within the government (both nationally and locally) to ensure its safety.