As technology advances, those in the criminal justice and criminology fields have to learn to change with it. More people conduct business online, and more occupations require at least some use of a computer or cellular phone.
To combat and investigate crimes involving computers and mobile phones, new career opportunities for digital forensic experts have sprung up.
What do digital forensic experts do? Well, as the name implies, they reconstruct and analyze digital information to aid in investigations and solve computer-related crimes. They can look into incidents of hacking, recover chat history and even recover lost or stolen data.
Some of the services of a digital forensic expert often include:
- Recovering data from damaged or erased hard drives
- Gathering and maintaining evidence
- Working with cellular devices, computers and other electronic equipment
- Digital image enhancement
- Recovering SMS or chat history
Private companies and government organisations may employ digital forensic investigators full time, or they may contract for their services. Investigators will likely be involved in looking for violations of company policies regarding computer use as much as they will be involved in crime solving.
What are the education and skill requirements for a digital forensic investigator? Well, of course you will need a wide variety of knowledge regarding the investigative process, the law of evidence, computer operating systems, mobile devices and different types of hardware and software.
In addition to computer skills and related education and certifications, digital forensic investigators and digital forensic experts must also possess strong analytical and investigative skills. They need to be able to read and interpret data and to formulate conclusions, and they must be able to present their findings and conclusions in a format that can be easily understood.
A digital forensic expert’s job is both stimulating and rewarding. It allows you to put your unique skills and knowledge to work in a field that is truly helpful to others.