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Online Cybercrime Courses
Although each online cybercrime studies program has a slightly different focus, most include courses in criminal justice, criminal investigation, computer forensics, law and information security. The following are course descriptions for these and other common classes:
- Criminal Justice Class: Courses in criminal justice provide students with an overview of the structures and theories behind the American criminal justice system. Course topics include court systems, policing, institutional corrections and juvenile justice, offering students a foundation for further studies in the investigation and prevention of cybercrime.
- Criminal and Cybercrime Investigation Class: Criminal investigation courses cover both general and cybercrime-specific protocol for gathering evidence, obtaining information and handling crime scenes. Students gain an overview of strategies for tracking and investigating various types of cybercrime, including Internet fraud, e-commerce, hacking and high-tech terrorism.
- Computer Forensics Class: Computer forensics is integral to gathering evidence in cybercrime cases. Most cybercrime studies programs include at least one course in the subject, which provides instruction in the examination of computer technology systems, portable storage devices and global positioning systems. Students learn methods for uncovering, authenticating, analyzing and retrieving digital evidence. Programs with a greater focus on forensics may also include courses that teach techniques for particular types of cybercrime or computer systems.
- Legal Issues in Cybercrime Class: Students in these courses study laws and policies addressing cybercrime on a national and global scale. They gain an understanding of the legal rights of corporations, individuals and security officers, as well as proper procedures for investigating cybercrime activity and presenting evidence in court.
- Information and Network Security Class: Most cybercrime studies programs include courses covering basic computer security, including firewalls, virus protection, network protection, cryptography and digital signatures, in addition to methods for identifying security risks. Programs with an information technology or computer programming concentration include courses in advanced techniques for designing, programming and implementing security systems.
- Homeland Security and Critical Infrastructure Class: Critical infrastructures is one of the core functions of Homeland Security, and in this course, students will learn to identify various sectors of critical infrastructure, as well as the key assets within the sectors that require protection. Once the components are identified, students learn techniques designed to protect key assets, assess threat risk and vulnerability, and learn counter terrorism technology.
- Ethics and Technology Class: This course discusses the ethical issues surrounding today's technologies, especially as they relate to cyber security and investigation. Students cover such things as investigative practices and privacy issues.
- Trends in Cybercrime Technologies Class: Students in this course learn about the current state of the cybercrime industry through subjects like current technologies for forensics and security. Students also cover the future of the industry.
Cybercrime courses are generally offered as part of undergraduate and graduate certificate and degree programs in cybercrime, cybersecurity, criminal justice, information technology and other related areas of study. Most schools offer courses and programs that can be completed entirely online, though many also offer students internship opportunities with crime investigation agencies in the school's region.
Cybercrime is a rich topic with many potential areas of focus. Fortunately, cybercrime programs and courses are widely available online, which gives students the freedom to find the focus they're most interested in without having to be near the school that offers it.