Why Be a Computer Forensics Investigator?

In the 21st century, computers and mobile technology have become integral to our daily lives. Adding in the development of the Internet, practically anybody in the world can connect with another through cyberspace. The Internet has become a very attractive medium to meet people and buy and sell products because it is convenient, fast, and hassle-free. But with the advantages come disadvantages such as identity theft and fraud.

Identity theft and Internet fraud are relatively new type of crimes where criminals use online means to steal from victims, whether it’s password to online bank accounts or the actual credit card or social security number. The FBI, large city police departments, and other crime fighting units employ specialists knowledgeable in cyber crime techniques and forensics to combat online criminals.

A Day In A Life Of A Computer Forensic Analyst

Cyber crime specialists not only seek to avoid terrorist attacks in the cyber world, but they also work to prevent crimes such the planting of harmful computer viruses and website hacking.  Additionally, computer forensic specialists have been playing an important role in preventing pedophiles or other sexual deviants from using the Internet for illegal sexual encounter. If you watch Dateline NBC, you may have seen FBI computer forensic investigators hack through a criminal’s computer to reveal illegal activities.

Salary For A Computer Forensic Examiner

Annual earnings for a computer forensic examiner is comparable to other IT jobs. Those working for public agencies average around $50K-$75K a year. Experts and consultants with their own private practice can demand their own pay.

How To Become A Computer Forensic Professional

To land a computer forensic job, one must go to school. Understand that computer forensics require knowledge in two areas: technology and criminal justice. Internet, mobile, and computer technology are rapidly changing areas. Hence, understanding the basics of high tech, i.e. how information is recorded, transported, stored, etc., is necessary. From there, one must have the ability analyze how technology is used in day-to-day aspects of life because that’s how and where cyber criminals attack.

Note that computer forensic is a specialization within law and criminal justice. So the courses and degree necessary for a career in this area are in the field of computer forensics, computer security, and criminal justice. A degree in accounting help immeasurably.  Sophisticated criminals use loopholes to hide paper trails for tax scams, fraud, and money laundering.  A trained financial auditor with computer savvy can trackdown illegal transactions in cyberspace.  Many traditional and technical colleges offer these courses.  And some classes can be taken online.