What is a Computer Cop?
When you think about police officers, you probably imagine someone in uniform walking the streets or driving in a police car, looking for criminals. Did you know that some policemenand policewomen also look for crime on computers?
These types of officers are called ‘computer crime specialists’ or ‘computer forensic specialists’. Their job is to find evidence, or proof, of crimes on computers and on the internet. Unlike other police officers that are out on the streets, these cops work in the offices of your local police department. Even police departments in small towns can get help from these types of officers by contacting police in bigger cities.
Why have a computer cop?
So why do police officers need to look at computers? Sometimes criminals use computers to commit crimes and they leave behind evidence of what they have done. Criminals can also hurt people by attacking their computers or accounts that they have on the internet. This is called hacking.
Some criminals even try to hurt people by finding them on the internet and chatting with them. This is why it is so important that you never talk to strangers online.
Police officers who work as computer crime specialists keep us all safe by helping to stop crimes and find criminals. When someone commits a crime and the police investigate, the computer cop gets the suspect’s computer and searches it. He looks through all of the files and every website the suspect has looked at to find evidence. Sometimes criminals keep records of the bad things they do on their computers. No matter how hard they try to hide it, computer cops are skilled enough to find anything that is hidden.
Computer cops can also find and stop hackers. These people who attack computers with viruses are hard to catch. They are very good at what they do and computer crime specialists must know all the latest information about hacking to find and stop them.
What is the most important thing they investigate?
One of the scariest kinds of computer crimes is when an older person, who we call a predator, goes on the internet to find a younger person. Police officers who work with computers try very hard to stop these people before they can do anything bad. They stop these criminals by finding them online and catching them trying to contact young people.
Computer crime specialists help to keep you safe by catching criminals. If you are careful, you can use the internet and stay safe. Talk to your parents about being smart with your computer. If you ever feel funny or bad about something that is happening on the internet or anywhere else on your computer, tell your parents right away.