Basic Tips and Advice For Computer Forensic Beginners

Being a hardware intensive job, being a computer forensics expert would require you to have a solid foundation of computer hardware, architecture and storage media. Being an expert grows in confidence and possesses high skill levels with the amount of experience gained. As a beginner, there are a few things you have to keep a…

Being a hardware intensive job, being a computer forensics expert would require you to have a solid foundation of computer hardware, architecture and storage media. Being an expert grows in confidence and possesses high skill levels with the amount of experience gained. As a beginner, there are a few things you have to keep a check on, with the purpose of ensuring that you do not falter at a later stage in the operation.

In the beginning, you have to ensure that you have defined the scope of the case correctly. You are required to work out and anticipate the kind of equipment that you may encounter in the case.

It is important because you might want to carry some important devices and software with you at the crime scene with the aim of starting work on the case at once. So, if you do not wish to loose out on time, it is preferable to bring all of the related tools that you might need in order to start on the case right away.

Beside that, you need to re-check all possible sources of evidence as detail as possible. This can be an obvious exercise, but it is better completed than said, especially when you are dealing with high-tech technological equipment. These ultra small storage devices, slim disks and a frighteningly large number of equipment makes searching for evidence an even more daunting task. The task of searching for concrete evidence at all possible places becomes even more awkward when an intrusion or crime has been made over the network.

Things to Do Before You Start Earning a Computer Forensics Degree

If you enjoy watching crime-solving movies and you would like to become a part of the crime fighting team, then you can start thinking of becoming a computer forensic investigator. Furthermore, it is an advantage for those who are IT-savvy individuals as most of the investigation involves the use of computers and other electronic devices.…

If you enjoy watching crime-solving movies and you would like to become a part of the crime fighting team, then you can start thinking of becoming a computer forensic investigator. Furthermore, it is an advantage for those who are IT-savvy individuals as most of the investigation involves the use of computers and other electronic devices.

In the beginning, you can start searching for information via internet as there are various websites that provides information about the particular field of study. You have to find out what does this investigator usually do during an investigation and other related information like job prospectus, working environment and their job description.

Beside that, there are a number of computer forensics schools that offers such degrees and certificates which you may choose from, in order to obtain proper education for you future career. The best way to go about the degree is to actually look out for the best universities offering such courses.

After narrowing down on your choice of the right university, you would be needed to choose one or more subjects out of a given pool of subjects. Some of the most common subjects that might be of relevance to this particular field of study are cyber security, criminal psychology, technology related crimes, semiconductor science, retrieval expert systems, database systems, networking and study of crimes committed on the internet.

If you have finished gather all related information, it is time seek application forms from respectable schools for course enrollment. In this case, you have to prepare related certificates and references for your course application.

8 Tips For Securing Your Home Computer

Security is something that everyone has to stay up with nowadays with all the credit card fraud and identity fraud in the news. There are many things that you can do to help keep your computer and your self safe. Follow these 8 steps and you will be better protected against security threats. Turn off…

Security is something that everyone has to stay up with nowadays with all the credit card fraud and identity fraud in the news. There are many things that you can do to help keep your computer and your self safe. Follow these 8 steps and you will be better protected against security threats.

Turn off unnecessary processes

  • There are a lot of programs that run in the background of your computer and some of those programs open up ports that can allow a hacker into your computer. By shutting down these programs that are most of the time unnecessary we can eliminate the amount of ports we have open on a computer.

Install Anti-Virus and Anti-Malware

  • This one is an absolute necessity for anyone who has a computer that is connected to the internet. An up to date anti-virus anti-malware program can be bought just about anywhere including online. One popular option is Symantec which has a full featured program to cover everything. Some other third party software also works well. Adware Bot and Spy No More – Anti Spyware

Turn on Windows Firewall or install a personal firewall

  • As was mentioned in tip number 1 we have ports open on our computer that can possibly allow a hacker in. Windows firewall (which comes free with windows) can block these types of ports. You can also purchase a third party firewall program that will help block these ports. There are many third party companies that provide excellent firewall programs. Firewall Gold

Have a router between you and the internet

  • Some ISP (internet service providers) such as cable allow you to plug into their modem and it gives your computer a public IP address. By installing a router between your ISP modem and your computer you can not only share your internet connection but you are also protecting yourself by not publishing your IP address to the internet.
  • A simple router is pretty inexpensive depending on the features that you get with it like wireless. Places like Best Buy and Global Computers have these routers.

Disable the computer guest account

  • The guest account for windows XP Professional is disabled by default but it is always a good idea to check and make sure.

Keep computer up to date with the latest Windows updates and anti-virus definition updates.

  • Windows workstations need to be constantly update in order to keep them secure. You can go to Windows Updates and get free Microsoft Windows updates.
  • Virus definition updates need to be purchased from the company

Backup important data

  • Backuping up data is not really a security item to keep your computer secure but more to keep you secure. Should your computer happen to be hacked or just crash if your data is backed up you will not lose your data.

Only download and install trusted software

  • One of the most common ways computers get viruses and malware is from software downloaded off of the internet. Certain programs downloaded from unknown sources contain viruses embedded within the program.
  • The best way to protect yourself against this is to not download software unless it is from a site that is completely trusted.

By following these eight steps you can significantly reduce your risk at being hacked or infected by a virus. The most important thing is to use common sense and you will stay protected.

Computer Forensics Career – What Does a Computer Forensic Investigator Actually Do?

Computer forensics is a division of overall forensic science specifically involved with exploring evidences that are hidden in various digital computing devices. This particular field of study basically retrieves unearthing hidden data from digital storage devices such as hard disks, CD-ROMS, flash memories and cell phones. Throughout the years, this particular field of study has…

Computer forensics is a division of overall forensic science specifically involved with exploring evidences that are hidden in various digital computing devices. This particular field of study basically retrieves unearthing hidden data from digital storage devices such as hard disks, CD-ROMS, flash memories and cell phones.

Throughout the years, this particular field of study has branched and spread its branch to other fields such as retrieving email files, processing systems and data packets traveling on a network. Generally, any information explaining a sequence of events that can be retrieved from a digital computing device can be used as court evidence.

Currently, technology has been widely exploited in order to commit serious crimes including ID thefts, phishing and other online fraudulent crimes. In order to keep a step ahead of these criminals, various detective and investigative agencies from different countries; have strengthened their forces and prepared them with the expertise to fight such crimes. Firewall Forensics, database Forensics and network & mobile device forensics are some of the many fields that have emerged out of computer forensics in the last decade.

Normally, an investigation of this area is divided into five broad sections:

  • Preparation of an investigation
  • Collection of data from digital computing devices
  • Examination of the data
  • Analysis of the data
  • Reporting

Much like any other forensic investigation, evidences based on this particular investigation can be used to charge the culprits in court. Computer forensic investigators usually work in the lab for hours – sometimes they have to stay overnight in the lab looking for important leads in some criminal cases.

How to Unclog Your Computer

I have been working on a lot of computers lately and one of the things that I notice the most is that there are programs still on the computer that are no longer needed. Some of the new computers have a lot of demo software on there for the customer to try. If they like…

I have been working on a lot of computers lately and one of the things that I notice the most is that there are programs still on the computer that are no longer needed.

Some of the new computers have a lot of demo software on there for the customer to try. If they like it, they have an option to buy it. If they do not like it, or even tried it, the computer still has to store the program and all of the related files.

In addition, many times parents will buy education software for their kids. The kids are now 9-10 years old, but the software that was bought for the 3-4 year old still remains on the computer.

Another example is AOL. Some people have started off using AOL, then they decided to go to cable modem, DSL, FIOS and the no longer use AOL. Even though they do not use it the software and all of the files remain on the computer.

Everything mentioned above slows down the computer, especially leaving AOL on it. AOL is a massive program and it puts software pieces everywhere including a program called the registry.

The registry is a program that keeps track of everything on the computer. If you no longer use an application and you do not uninstall it the Registry has to go through all of the data to get to where it needs to go.

So, the first step in getting rid of the applications that you no longer need is to go to the Start menu and look at all of the programs and files under the All programs menu option. Just look at the different folders and applications to see what you no longer use, or even hear of.

The next step is to click on the Start menu and click on the Control Panel icon. When the Control panel opens click on the Add / Remove programs option. In XP and Vista, Add / Remove programs is either in the first row (icon vies), or on the left column (word view).

When the Add / Remove window opens you will see all of the applications that are installed. If you have a lot of applications on your computer it can take 30 seconds or more to populate all of them on the screen.

Click on the application that you want to remove and select Remove (XP), or Uninstall (Vista). Follow the prompts and the program will uninstall. Some applications ask you to restart your computer after it is uninstalled. You can do this each time, or just wait until you uninstall all of the applications. Once you are done, go to the Start menu and select Restart and the computer will restart.

The next and final step is to delete the folders associated with the programs. Add / remove mainly work with the applications, not the extra files it installs. Click on the My computer icon and then select the drive C icon. Next look for Program Files folder and double click on that to open it. The next thing to do is to look at the folder names and delete the folders of the applications that you uninstalled. The folder names are usually the same as the application that you removed.

After you are done I would click on the Start menu, then click on Accessories folder, and then the System Tools folder and select Disk Defragmenter and let it run by clicking on the defragment program. What this application does is gets rid of the extra spaces on your hard drive. The extra spaces were left there from the applications that you removed. After it is complete, which usually takes an hour, the hard drive will work less and find what it is looking for faster. The end result is a faster computer.

How to Make Your Emails Secure

We talk about securing our data on our system, we protect our data on CD and DVD, we make our data safe on portable storage media but we never thought about securing our emails which we usually use to send our important data to people we know. As the number of computer users is growing…

We talk about securing our data on our system, we protect our data on CD and DVD, we make our data safe on portable storage media but we never thought about securing our emails which we usually use to send our important data to people we know.

As the number of computer users is growing really fast, the people have to face many security threats in the face of viruses, spy wares and the most dangerous threat are the hackers who are always looking to hack in to other PCs and steal their private and confidential information.

In this article, I would like to discuss some ways and means to secure your computer and your emails from these kinds of threats.

Software are now considered as the backbone of a computer, windows itself is a software with out which we would be unable to use the device called computer. With the advancement in software development department, a large no of different security applications are making a good reputation among people. They are satisfying the security needs of the people but still there is an issue related to the security of emails.

People use to send their important data through emails, but its really insecure to use email services to send important and personal data because these days the hackers just need a chance to hack those emails and take away your important data before it can reach to your desired person.

Software like Folder Lock is a complete security software which assures the security of data on your system, on removable media as well as you emails. You can send your data on emails protected by it. Folder Lock basically creates encrypted lockers which are impossible to crack, even if a hacker gets his hands to it, he will never be able to crack that locker nor can he ever misuse your data.

Security software have now become a need to our systems, a security conscious will never leave its system in the hands of viruses or hackers, it would do anything to make its / her valuable data secure and protected.

Data Security on CDs and DVDs

We always think to secure our computer from viruses, spywares and take different security measures to do it but never think about the protection of data we use to write on our DVDs and CDs. We just write CDs and DVDs with our data and put it in CD case and lock it in our…

We always think to secure our computer from viruses, spywares and take different security measures to do it but never think about the protection of data we use to write on our DVDs and CDs. We just write CDs and DVDs with our data and put it in CD case and lock it in our draws.

But when we use our data burned CDs / DVDs on other systems there is always a risk of data loss, in a way that any one can copy that data in to his / her system and can easily misuse it. Many software companies have developed different security softwares for viruses and hacking attempts and data security which we can only use on our systems but what about those who use to burn their valuable data on CDs and DVDs.

Data security products are playing a major role in protecting and securing data. These applications are becoming famous day by day. These applications are offering many useful features related to data security.

Softwares like Folder Lock, with unique security features for data locking and encryption uses 256 aes encryption standard to protect data. These kinds of softwares also provide an option of securing data on CDs and DVDs.

You can simply burn your data on cds and dvds and can use a software like Folder Lock to secure your data on CDs and DVDs so that no one can get a chance to sneak in to your data using your CDs / DVDs.

Now days our computers are totally dependent on softwares, we have to download or purchase different softwares which can satisfy our security needs because the security of personal data on computer or on movable media is a must.

Identity Theft Using Second Hand Hard Drives

For most people these days technology is almost a throwaway fact of life; for some however old or no longer necessary technology provides a welcome source of additional income. There can be no better illustration of this than EBay, the auction website. However there are inherent risks that can lead to problems which can only…

For most people these days technology is almost a throwaway fact of life; for some however old or no longer necessary technology provides a welcome source of additional income.

There can be no better illustration of this than EBay, the auction website. However there are inherent risks that can lead to problems which can only be solved by the use of expert Computer Forensics techniques.

It is important to understand that simply deleting information from a computer hard drive does not need to get rid of it; deleting it simply frees up the space so it can be overwritten with new data.

And just as Computer Forensics Experts can retrieve this data should the need arise so too can the well informed and increasingly sophisticated computer criminal.

One of the most common problems found by Computer Forensics personnel is the problem of hard drives not being properly formatted and wiped clean of all or any previous data. Without proper handling these hard drives, often sold on auction websites for a fraction of their original cost, can be restructured thus giving rise to identity theft and thus requiring the help of an expert in the fight against Computer Crime.

It is of course not just individuals who sell their equipment on auction websites; companies also sell their unwanted equipment in the hope of making some extra money and without considering the consequences of not ensuring their hard drives are properly cleaned.

The home user wishing to make some extra money, or indeed the business user looking to recoup some money spent on newer equipment, can use disc wiping or erasing utilities which can be purchased from reputable Internet sites or from high street retailers but unfortunately many do not engage in this practice and as a result in recent years thousands of private citizens' details including their dates of birth, PIN (Personal Identification Numbers) and other personal details have been reclaimed on supposedly clean hard drives.

Computer Forensics Experts are often called upon to help recall lost data and also to prove that data has existed on a particular hard drive at some time.

Unless the hard drive has been removed physically from the computer and replaced with a new one, or the disc has been subject to an erasing utility, the likelihood is the information will be retrievable.

If you are a business and have a large number of computers to dispose of it is wise to take advice from an expert who will be able to help ensure that all personal and sensitive data is removed and non-returnable before you part company with your computer equipment.

Difference Between 64 Bit and 32 Bit OS

During my research about 64 and 32 bit operating system I found many people confused about what computer they should purchase or what “bit” system they should choose … I think this article is a great help for people to choose the correct machine for their use. So, what is the difference between 32 and…

During my research about 64 and 32 bit operating system I found many people confused about what computer they should purchase or what “bit” system they should choose … I think this article is a great help for people to choose the correct machine for their use.

So, what is the difference between 32 and 64 bit operating system?

A 32 bit processor is faster than a 64 bit processor, 64 bit processors are very commonly used that you can find it easily in any home pc but the main difference is the hardware you are having on your machine. For 32 bits there is not any need of any wide main bus to carry 32 bits at a time but for 64 bits its must that you should have a wider bus to carry 64bits.

The main difference between 32 bit and 64 is that 32 bit system has 4gb (gigabytes) of space for addressing means that the 32 bit system has a limit of 4GB RAM to process data where as the 64 bit operating system has 2 ^ 64 bits of space to address and supports 16 hexabytes of RAM to process data.

In simple words an operating system of 32 bit has a 4GB limit to process any data depending upon the sizes of files and RAM

A person who does not care about the category will find 64 bit more beneficial than 32 bit because he can use 64 bit OS with 32 bit OS and software. If we compare 64 bit with 32 bit OS, 64 bit is faster and processes more upgraded silicon processes and have more no transistors which proves it to be more advantageous than 32 bit.

Now most of the software companies are developing their software in accordance with the 64 bit environment, it's really hard for the consumers to run a 64 bit application in 32 bit environment, in this case they have to upgrade their hardware's such RAM which is also a big issue because most of the computer users have less than 1Gb in their systems.

So instead of changing your hardware often I would recommend 32 bit OS over 64 bit which is more user friendly and enables its user to run applications of 64 bit in 32 bit environment.

Are Biometric Systems Useful For Authentication?

Elevating automation and maturation of modern technological systems, such as cellular phones and internet, have led users to the continuing use of technical ways instead of human beings for acquiring authentication. Personal identity has evolved to the ability of private PIN's and passwords. Passwords are regularly used in things such as cellular phones, ATM's, personal…

Elevating automation and maturation of modern technological systems, such as cellular phones and internet, have led users to the continuing use of technical ways instead of human beings for acquiring authentication. Personal identity has evolved to the ability of private PIN's and passwords. Passwords are regularly used in things such as cellular phones, ATM's, personal computers or access to the internet. But, there is a problem with using the system of passwords for security reasons.

For making the password non-accessible to other individuals, it has to be unique, not present in the dictionary and has to include symbols like%, #, or @. Furthermore, for security resolves, a password has to be not written, never given access to other people, and has to be altered at least after every three months. People nowdays, use as intense amounts of passwords and it becomes troublesome for remembering these. While the passwords are considered machine friendly, they are for being user friendly.

There is an answer that brings back the ways of nature. For identifying an individual, human beings contradistinguish amongst physical features such as physical composition or voice. Biometrics, which is the science concerned with the compiling and measuring of contrasting physical aspects, now discerns many characteristics as perfect for the distinct recognition of an identical twin too. Examples combine the iris, the fingerprint, and also the structure of the veins. For performing the task of recognition at the human brain level (presuming the brain only uses an individualistic biometric feature), 100 million calculations per second will be necessitated. Recently, standard PCs have attained this acceleration, and it is also seen that the sensors needed to evaluate characteristics are getting more affordable. Therefore, the moment has arrived for completing the password with more consumer friendly solutions – Biometric authentications.

There are various ways by which biometric verifications are done. Some of them are mentioned below.

Finger Identifications

The ridges of fingerprints are formed in the uterus just at the completion of four months of development of the fetus. The fingerprints that formed are like pictures present on a balloon's surface. The fingers of a person get large with increasing age, but, the relationship between the fingerprint ridges is constant through. This is why fingerprint identifications are considered trustworthy.

Authentication of the palm vein

The authentication of the palm veins is a system in which infrared beams are used for penetrating the hands of the users while washing them over the authentication systems. The palm veins get returned back in the form of black lines. The complex nature of the vein pattern makes this system accurate. As the veins are present inside the body of a person, this system is difficult to counterfeit.

The retina scans

The method of screening the retina involves analyzing capillary blood vessels which are present in the eye. This pattern does not change through the lifespan. A light of low intensity is used for taking the images of the patterns of blood vessels. It is a very reliable method of identification used by biometrics.

Iris scans

Scanning the iris is a method in which the freckles, rings and the furrows present in the ring which identifies the pupils of the eyes are scanned. The method involves the use of close to 200 points for comparing and is very reliable.