Sunday, January 20, 2013

Guest Post by Sara Dawkins

Aspects of Forensic Science on Social Networks

Since the inception of the Internet, people have used it for a variety of purposes. As social networking
developed, many have flocked to these sites to share their opinions and beliefs. Since the late 2000s,
some of these social networking people have gone so far as to post his or her crimes as they commit
them. Could this be a form of bragging rights to friends, or a desperate plea for help?

However, not all criminals are so blunt. Most of them unwittingly leave breadcrumbs for law
enforcement to follow to facilitate a capture. As millions of people take to social networking sites on a
regular basis, forensic science has been made to adapt. What you post on your profile could lead to
future activities and you may become a suspect.

1. Posting Comments - Commenting on someone's video or Facebook wall is a common practice for
many of us. However, if you're posts are frequently of a specific nature, forensic psychologists could
plot a criminal activity. When you are on the Internet, the lack of physical contact gives you the sense
that you are safe from repercussions of your actions and you feel more comfortable by writing exactly
what you think. In today's world, that frame of mind is farther from the truth. Your activity and
comments could lead law enforcement right to you if you've committed a crime and are social-network-

2. Videos - One of the easiest methods of getting yourself caught is posting the activity on sites such as
YouTube. This has got to be one of the most asinine ways of exposing yourself possible. People
constantly make the news as being arrested for something that had uploaded to this active social site.
YouTube is a way to entertain, not create a historical database of your crimes.

3. Networking Activity - Comments and videos can be a fruitful method of gathering evidence for
digital forensic teams. However, the amount of activity on social networking could also be beneficial.
Websites, files, and more can open a great deal of information about a person on his or her computer.

For instance: if there was a local bombing and your computer was full of websites relating to
explosives and detonation devices, you could be in trouble. Although, it takes more than just visiting a
few websites in order to be solid evidence. That's when the forensic team starts looking into your
emails and social networking posts to see if there is any correlation.

What gets posted onto the Internet, stays on the Internet. Even items you think you've deleted can still
have a way of coming back to haunt you. Every second, website content is being indexed, saved, and
backed-up on various servers. If you don't want something to come back and bite you, don't post it.
The best advice to take from this is to never post anything that could incriminate you.

Author Bio

Sara is an active nanny as well as an active freelance writer. She is a frequent contributor of http:// Learn more about her

Tuesday, January 01, 2013

January 2013

  1. The start of the new year is always excellent, since we have time to plan and look to unfinished tasks if they are necessary. As always, many new challenges to solve, and in February the American Academy of Forensic Sciences has it conference in Washington DC, where I am looking forward to meet the colleagues. Currently also finalizing the work on workshop 17 'Image Analysis — 3D Imaging and Virtopsies:  Developments, Methods, and Reasoning About Images'.
  2. Teamwork remains important, where we have multidisciplinary teams that become more creative in finding new solutions. Currently working on implementing new methods how to improve this in R&D projects. There are also many new challenges, and of course budget constraints is one of them.
  3. We see that the CSI effect at universities appears to work for getting people interested in forensic science and that they are aware of the real issues.
  4. The opening of the European Cybercrime Center at Europol om 1 January 2013 is an important event for the fight against cybercrime.