Criminal justice careers have expanded during the past few years to include technological advances that have proven essential to law enforcement. Anything from increased access to criminal databases to computer forensics analysis has allowed law enforcement agencies to better apprehend dangerous criminals. Computer forensics in particular has become a major tool for law enforcement officers to track potential criminals and discover what is hidden within their computers.
Computer forensics is applicable in all sectors of law enforcement, ranging from simple local police forces to the CIA and FBI, who rely on such measures to track down criminals who can pose a threat to national security. As computers have advanced during the past years, so have the methods criminals use to get past law enforcement. Computers have become a major tool for international and domestic criminals, a factor which many law enforcement officers have acknowledged. As a result, it has become necessary to go through a captured criminals’ computer records to ensure that they were not involved in a conspiracy and do not have any further crimes which may be open.
Additionally, computer forensics has become exceptionally vital in capturing child predators who seek out young children on the internet. Many law enforcement units are able to use computer forensics to locate these sex offenders and ensure that they do not harm any more children. More than anything else, computer forensics ensures the safety of the community and the safety of simply surfing the internet. These jobs provide many in the community with a peace of mind in knowing that their children can safely remain on the internet without fear that there will be some older man nearby who wants to take advantage of them via the internet.
While computer forensics is mostly used in criminal offenses, they can also be used in civil disputes to prove a certain event happened, or that a certain credit card purchase was somehow erased. Computers now hold the background of every person’s life and as a result, computer forensics analysts can trace their past website views, document modifications, or even deleted objects. It is amazing the strides that computer forensics has made in such a short period, as computers themselves have only become more advanced in the past decade and a half. It is unbeknownst to us how far computer forensics will explore within the coming years to track down even more criminal offenders.