Computer Forensics Gains Popularity On Screen

Television shows and movies that deal with crime are often full of various types of forensic specialists who are instrumental in solving the cases along with the detectives and agents. Of course, real world forensics is a bit different from what we see on the television screen and in movies. Those shows have dramatic license, which means that sometimes the things that you see while watching have some exaggerated elements in order to achieve the effect that the writers need for the characters or the plot. Still, you will find that computer forensics is starting to get quite popular on screen, even though it might not have quite as much popularity as other areas of forensics do.
Chances are that in the coming years, we are going to start seeing quite a bit more when it comes to computer forensics on television. The reason for this is simple. Look at the types of crimes committed right now, and you will see that cyber crime is certainly on the rise. This means that people are going to want to know more about these crimes and the people responsible for helping to solve them. Those two things alone mean that the popularity of computer forensics is going to keep going up – for those who want to watch shows about it as well as for those who want to enter the actual field.

The Latest Show to Mention Computer Crime and Forensics

One of the latest television shows to make mention of computer forensics and cybercrime is The Following, starring Kevin Bacon. This show, which features a former FBI agent trying to track down a contingent of killers all following the orders of a mastermind serial killer, is brilliant, and fans of crime drama are going to enjoy what the show offers. Astute viewers will note references to how the killer was able to connect with the people he wanted to induct into his murderous family via the computer in the beginning. He was able to hide his tracks well enough too. Then, he was able to meet his “recruits” in person.
Later, specialists were able to use their skills with computer forensics to uncover secret identities, property locations, and more. While it might not be entirely realistic, it is a fun and interesting interpretation of computer forensics.

Do They Get It Wrong?

Of course, Hollywood is going to get things wrong sometimes. That’s the nature of the beast. As mentioned, the reason that they get it wrong is not always due to lazy research. Sometimes, it is because it makes for a better story when they do not follow the actual rules that one would use in an actual investigation. This is great for casual viewers, but does seem to grate on the nerves of those who are in the field as professionals! Try to remember that it’s all in good fun.

Television Shows Utilizing Forensics Today

Here’s a sampling of some of the television shows that are on the air today that touch upon forensics, including computer forensics.
  • Bones
  • The Following
  • Dexter
  • CSI
  • NCIS
  • Castle
Watch enough crime drama, and you will find references to a range of different types of forensics, even obscure branches, such as forensic podiatrists.

A Good Career

Whether it is popular on television or not doesn’t really matter to those who want to enter this field to help put a damper on crime. Starting training now is a great idea. With cybercrime becoming more problematic, getting a degree in the field could mean that you have a steady choice of jobs in the coming years.
About the Author
Anita Schepers provides advice and information on computer forensics training at

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