Computer Forensics

What is Computer Forensics?

Computer forensics is the process of investigating digital information for evidence of illegal activities in digital devices such as computers, cell phones, and personal digital assistants (PDA). This process is often done by law enforcement officials. For instance, when investigating cases involving computer crimes, harassment, frauds, Internet scams, child pornography, blackmailing, identity theft, and terrorism. 

What is a Computer Forensic Examiner?

A computer forensic examiner is also known as a digital investigator because he or she investigates digital media for evidence per laws and regulations governing electronic discovery or e-discovery. 

The scope of their investigation may be limited to examining files on a single computer system, or they may need to examine multiple devices used by several people at once. Common challenges they may face during an investigation include encrypted data storage systems and unauthorized destruction of data by users trying to hide their activities on the computer system. 

Scope of Work of a Digital Investigator

The work of a digital investigator involves both physical examinations of electronic storage media after it seizing it during an investigation; and conducting a logical analysis before the seizure. 

Physical examination involves examining the hard drive; or other media for traces of evidence that may have been left behind by users who have it recently. While logical analysis involves reviewing data on electronic devices for evidence of illegal activities; while adhering to legal requirements regarding privacy rights and chain-of-custody protocol. 

Not only do they retrieve crucial information for investigations. But they also collect information that can help identify suspects in criminal activities which could be useful as evidence against them. As mentioned earlier many encryption methods can be useful to hide data, their work involves using modern techniques. For instance, like steganography to retrieve the information. 

The job may be very challenging and stressful at times, but it can also be very rewarding because it involves working with law enforcement agencies to prevent crimes and catch criminals. 

What Skills are Essential to Become a Computer Forensics Examiner?

Nowadays, there are many digital devices for which you need to know about computer forensics to access their contents. These devices include computers, laptops, tablets, PDAs, smartphones, and even home assistant devices like Google Home and Amazon Alexa. 

Given the growing popularity of these digital devices and the increasing number of computer crimes committed using them, individuals and organizations need to employ the services of a digital investigator to retrieve information stored on their devices. 

However, it is not just any individual who can become a computer forensic examiner. As mentioned earlier the job is only suitable for individuals who have relevant skills and qualifications. 

The following are essential skills that you need to possess to become a computer forensic investigator: 

Logical Thinking and Decision Making

An individual should be able to think logically, make quick decisions, and keep calm even in stressful situations. These skills will help you to retrieve information from digital devices within a short period and conduct your investigation efficiently. 

Analytical Skills

Analytical skills are also essential as they will help you to retrieve as much as possible from as many devices as possible. Having good analytical skills also helps you to research data and interpret numbers and statistics. 

Good Knowledge of Computer Systems

Good knowledge of computer systems and operating systems will help you to identify different types of hard drives and their capacities and determine how fast the hard drive is and whether it has enough space for the data that you want to retrieve. 

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