What you’ll learn in a computer forensics program
If you are interested in applying your computer skills to a career in law enforcement, a computer forensics degree may be just what you’re looking for. This type of digital science is oriented towards helping police, lawyers and justice system officials recover information from computers. Your computer forensics training may be used in criminal trials as well as civil proceedings. Some people with computer forensics certification also work in the corporate world, helping businesses recover data from old, lost or outdated computer networks.
In a computer forensics program, you will learn a wide range of data recovery techniques. These include:
- Recovering deleted files. One of the most important skills you will learn during the course of your computer forensics degree is the recovery of files that were deleted from a hard drive or other media storage device. This is one of the most widely used techniques in the world of computer forensics, particularly in the realm of law enforcement.
- Live hard drive analysis. In this approach, you will interface with a computer directly through its existing operating system, or by applying specific digital forensics tools to search for files and information that is needed to solve a particular problem. One specific application of live hard drive analysis involves breaking down encryption codes that are used to mask or hide sensitive information.
- Multiple hard drive analysis. Occasionally, it is necessary to cross-reference or check information that is stored on multiple hard drives. This is done when you need to find the originating source of a particular file, or to determine whether or not there was intent to distribute stolen or illegal digital files. The multiple hard drive analysis approach is also used when information needs to be recovered from websites, such as social media networks, that a particular person was using.
You can take computer forensics classes in traditional classroom environments, or online. There are advantages to both types of computer forensics training, and you should choose the one that best matches your learning style. Online education offers excellent flexibility, but classroom settings give you the chance to interact directly with your instructor and other students.