Crime is everywhere. Whenever a new medium is created to help along business, crime will soon invade that new medium. With the advent of the internet, fraudulent criminals have found a whole new breeding ground for their dubious activities. Combining anonymity, home-security, and manipulating complex computer language in which the average person has no proficiency, criminals now have new, unchartered avenues to commit theft, identity theft, and fraud..
Because of this new phenomenon, an entire educational program within the field of investigation has become available in the online world. That is, these programs don’t merely train investigators to deal with online crime, but much of that very training is done online itself. This combination of medium and content is the most superior form of learning, because the future investigator is learning directly from experience, and is immediately placed in control of the tools that will be the tools of the trade.
There are many ways to apply investigative techniques with the use of computers and the internet. Two examples of these are computer crime and corporate crime.
Computer crime, or cybercrime, has been in existence as long as computers have been the primary method of storing and transmitting sensitive data and information. Since the internet’s prevalence in communication, internet crime, or netcrime, has become a major problem for both individuals and businesses. Ranging in severity from mail spam and harassment to identity theft, illegal pornography and cyber warfare, the need for highly skilled cybercrime investigators is always growing. These professionals learn the technology and legal procedures surrounding the seizure and organization of digital evidence to help with criminal prosecutions. If one is investigating crime committed on computers and online, what better way to train for a job than by an online learning program?
Corporations have always been a difficult case regarding criminal liability, because depending on jurisdiction, corporations sometimes have and sometimes do not have the legal status of natural persons. Sometimes referred to as white-collar crime, this can also include organized crime and state crime. The need for specialists in this field is great because the victims are often not only individuals or other businesses, but society as a whole. One can easily see that because many corporations are multi-national with their information, business and assets spread over the globe, and the web, that a distance education program for professional investigators will put them squarely within the arena of these corporate criminals.
Because the days of criminals having to hide behind facemasks and braving real world law enforcement officers are somewhat a thing of the past, we need a new breed of investigators who meet criminals right in their own home turf. While they may sit at home and scour the web for victims, it is comforting to know that society’s investigators are able to learn from their own homes how to stop them.