It wasn’t really that long ago that smartphones were relatively rare. In fact, only a few short years before they became so popular it wasn’t terribly uncommon to find a person that did not carry a cell phone with them at all. However, that technology has quickly advanced and with it, the convenience of being able to be in touch with loved ones, colleagues and friends anywhere and everywhere has taken hold. As a result, virtually every individual has a smart phone within an arm’s reach and they typically have it with them at all times. As is the case with anything, technology can be good or bad. It really depends on how it is used and who is calling the shots while they are using it.
The Evolution of the Smartphone
Without a doubt, the technology that has been made available to everyday citizens through the development of the smartphone is something that is nothing short of outstanding. These small, handheld devices are much more than a mere telephone. They are capable of performing more functions and producing calculations at a faster rate than full size desktop computers were capable of approximately 20 years ago. As a result, they are able to store vast amounts of information in the form of text, internet searches, video, audio and photographs.
Of course, this means that an entirely new form of forensic study had to be incorporated in order to help people keep up with the evolving technology of smartphones. Coincidentally, it is referred to as smartphone forensics. Essentially, it is the study of forensic evidence as it relates to smartphones that have been used at the scene of a crime or that have information stored on them directly related to a specific crime. Smartphone forensics can be thought of in much the same way that traditional forensics at a crime scene is thought of. The difference is that the smartphone may or may not be found at the crime scene itself. However, obtaining a smartphone and getting information from it can help law enforcement agencies as well as other organizations find out a great deal about a particular individual that might be a suspect. On the flip side, the ability to find a victim’s smartphone can yield an enormous amount of information that may allow investigators to solve a crime that could otherwise go unsolved for years.
Making the Most of the Information
The thing that truly makes this technology so different is that it forces investigators to combine the best parts of traditional forensic study and studies associated with cyber security into a single function. It allows them to look at both the physical aspect of the phone itself and everything that is contained on it. Even if information relating to a crime is not found on the phone, simply having access to it can provide investigators with a great deal of information about the individual in question from a more general perspective.
Today, smartphone forensics is used to study a variety of different crimes and there is no reason that one would expect this to change any time in the near future. These types of phones have become such an integrated part of daily life that even those individuals who think that they have covered their tracks in every conceivable way often overlook the information that is contained right there in the device they are holding their hands.