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Crimes, as may have been known in past climes, have evolved in modern times, transcending traditional geographical locations as we know into the internet. With more and more daily visitors on the internet using various online and social platforms for personal and business purposes, the conflicts and offenses akin to human interactions have also seeped into online relations.
On the internet are constant online crimes, threats, fraud and other similar vices. And just as regular physical crimes, these cyber threats also come under the jurisdictions of specific law enforcement agencies in the country that must carry out online investigations and other crime combating measures to apprehend culprits and make the internet a safe space for human relations.
What are Online Crimes?
Cybercrimes may span across different offenses done in cyberspace, from online blackmails and cyberbullying to financial crimes like identity theft, business email compromises (BEC), social hacking, extortions, spoofing and phishing, ransomware and others.
The statistics of cybercrime in the US are unfortunately on the rise. Research shows that 47% of Americans experienced identity theft in 2020, with losses from identity theft cases seeing an increase of about 42% ($712.4 billion) in 2020 from what it used to be in 2019($502.5 billion). The statistics of other cybercrimes are not any better, spelling a menace for internet users.
Nonetheless, designated federal and local law enforcement bodies saddled with the responsibility of fighting certain cybercrimes record high success rates of curbing cyber offenses and bringing erring persons to book.
Combating Cyber Threats as a Law Enforcement Agent – online investigating
Fighting crimes, apprehending the “bad guys,” and generally saving the day as an officer or agent who is only familiar with field crimes may seem a lot different from what is actually required and obtainable when fighting online crimes.
For instance, online investigating processes are very much distinct from the physical investigation. While there might be similarities with questioning, collecting objects for evidential purposes and whatnot, online investigating may prove much more novel due to the fact that the related crimes are committed in a more abstract setting and require innovative investigative techniques, special analytic and forensic tools and others.
To effectively combat online crimes, law enforcement agencies must master the art of online investigating. This is the first step (even in regular crime-fighting) to making headway in any case. Investigating draws out clues, causes breakthroughs, and generally lays the foundation for any successful case.
Online investigation is a skill taught and learned, and to be a law enforcement officer skilled at online investigating comes with learning and practicing until the same is perfected. We highly recommend the upcoming training/seminar curated by the LLRMI on investigating online threats using social media platforms (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and more) as a case study. With a course registration fee of $150, police officers and even private investigators can become pros at online investigation whose need is becoming prevalent in the society, following the reign of digitalization and the internet as we know today to be.