Probably one of the most dangerous threats to security is online theft, also known as Internet theft. It is a form of fraud, wherein critical information regarding a person, business enterprise or private corporation is siphoned off through deceitful means. Often, the goal is to use the information to gain money, blackmail or intimidate. For private investigators working on Internet theft, this is a challenge, particularly because the technology used to perform such crimes is becoming more sophisticated.
Knowledge of the technology is important
One of the most basic requirements for private investigators working Internet theft is to know the technology and understand how it works. A background or some training in computers and computer programming will help. Surprisingly, even a background in accounting can be very useful in this field.
If you want to focus on Internet theft as a specialization, you might want to consider becoming a computer forensic investigator. As such, you will be trained to analyze computer files and systems, recover deleted or encrypted files and retrieve passwords.
You also have to know how to use the Internet. If you must work in cases involving Internet or identity theft, you need to know your way around the World Wide Web.
You also need to know and understand laws that cover intellectual property and piracy, two of the most common crimes online. Internet theft generally revolves around the act of stealing electronic data and files. There are laws that protect people from these crimes that you need to learn.
Software and hardware
Certain applications and devices can also be very helpful for monitoring online criminals, particularly those that engage in Internet theft. E-mail messages, for example, can be tracked back to its source and with some work, the identity of the sender may be assumed or even revealed.
Handling sensitive information
In the course of your work as a private investigator, you might need to perform some information mining yourself. Most PIs will turn to individuals or companies that sell information such as phone records, home and school addresses and even names of employers, credit card companies and banks.
Be careful about doing business with these firms. Check how the data had been mined. Some companies purchase their data from pretexters – people who obtain information using deceptive means. The data may be useful for you as a detective but using it will be like condoning a practice that you as a PI working on Internet theft are working against.
image credits to mikey g ottawa