mobileforensics

10 Ways Mobile Forensics Can Benefit Your Law Enforcement Agency

Cell phones are everywhere and they often contain information law enforcement professionals need to solve crimes.

People don’t do anything without their smartphones. When one shows up at a crime scene, you need to know how to use it for your investigation, and track all the actions completed for the chain of custody. 

Mobile forensics helps you use smartphones and other mobile devices to aprehend criminals or terrorists. Law enforcement once had to pound the pavement for hours to get information. The same information is often available on cell phones.

Don’t believe us? Check out these 10 ways cell phone forensics makes your job easier and faster. Proper use of mobile tools can mean the difference between life and death.

1. Mobile Forensics Tracks Victims

When you have a kidnapping by a non-custodial parent or runaway situation, time is of the essence. Every second that ticks by means your victim is in more danger. Before mobile phone forensics, police relied on information from friends and family, eye witness reports and credit card tracking.

These are still important tools, but GPS information on cell phones can help you find your victims much faster, or find out the location of your runaway without all the extra work.

Time is always against law enforcement. Cellular forensics can help turn the tide.

2. Find Out Their Timeline

When investigating a case, knowing the previous locations of a victim or suspect is vital. If a suspect’s alibi relies on him being at a certain place at a certain time, then using mobile phone data can determine if he’s telling the truth.

To determine the timeline of a victim’s last night, cell phone pings can paint a picture of their last night or week. Mobile forensic tools can create a road map that you can use in your investigation, and keep track of all that has happend to a phone for the chain of custody record.

3. Find Out Who People Talked Too

Cell phone records are invaluable to modern criminal investigations. With proper court documents, you can get a list of phone records, texts and more to help with your investigation.

They help support your investigative theories. It clears a person of interest or helps determine the perpetrator of the crime. You can find out who was the last person the victim talked to or verify the suspect talked to the victim before the crime.

Law enforcement officers use cell phone records routinely. They are an important part of clearing suspects and closing cases.

4. Gather Evidence from Cell Phones

People use cell phones for everything. In fact, 3/4 of adults own a cell phone and they look up information on Google and store pictures on them. They are a treasure trove of potential evidence.

Law enforcement officers have discovered suspects often look up where to find ropes, duct tape, etc., on their phone before a kidnapping.

People don’t realize how important cell phones can be in a criminal case. They make mistakes and assume that no one will find out.

Pictures tell you who their friends are, places they visit and much more. There are apps for everything. Investigators find amazing evidence from the contents of a cell phone.

5. Find Out Criminal Activity from Cell Phones

Cell phones are miniature computers. They have processing power and capabilities far beyond checking Facebook and snapping selfies. Criminals can use them for identity theft, illegal surveillance, and many more crimes.

If a forensic scientist gets a cell phone, they use it to find out if it has been used for crimes.

They can dig into the data and discover hidden information the criminal tried to hide or delete. Cell phones are important for investigations and must be tracked with the chain of custody just like any other evidence item.

6. Paint a Picture with Cell Phone Images

When a criminal act happens in a large area, people take pictures and videos as it happens, and before. It could be a fight in an alley or a bombing of a public place.

Many high-profile bombing cases used cell phone images and videos to create a picture of what happened. They see where people were, any unusual activity or items and much more. It’s a way to recreate an event even though you weren’t there at the time.

7. Criminals Post Incriminating Evidence Using Cell Phones

Cell phones and social media go hand in hand. Millions of people use Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and more every day. Most people post mundane activities or funny memes. Criminals often use it to brag about their crimes.

They assume no one will see it, but police use these posts in criminal proceedings. They take cell phone videos using firearms, drugs and showing off their loot.

Cell phones are small, unlike traditional video cameras. It’s easy to take it out and make a short video that puts them in prison.

8. Get Leads with Text-A-Tip

It’s not always easy for people to talk to the police. Face-to-face and phone conversations intimidate people. Police need tips from the public to solve cases and text-a-tip programs help make it more discreet.

In today’s digital culture, texting is easier than talking. Police receive tips from cell phone text messages that help solve cases. They send confidential and anonymous texts to police and avoid meeting or talking to people.

9. Increased Crime Reporting

Before cell phones, people needed to find a phone to report a crime. They walked several blocks to find a phone, left the victim alone and other issues that hampered the investigation.

Now, cell phones let them report crimes as they happen anywhere in the world. Someone gets attacked in a rural cornfield. If they call 911, they can get their location and send help.

People record crimes as they happen. They take pictures of license plates and more.

10. Saves Time and Effort

When you’re in the field, time is of the essence. No matter what the crime, the longer it takes to solve, the colder the trails gets. What used to take hours of manual police work may now take only minutes.

Mobile phone forensics speeds up the investigation process. Instead of spending hours asking witnesses about someone’s whereabouts, you know it from cell phone records. Track people in real time instead of hours after they’ve gone.

Never Underestimate the Power of Cell Phones

Mobile forensics is growing in use and scope for investigations. Software developed to crack cell phones, examine data and track people get used daily by law enforcement in large cities and small rural communities.

If you’re interested in learning more about cell phone forensics and tracking, or law enforcement technology, feel free to explore our site.

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10 Reasons Why Cloud-Based Evidence Management is Ideal

Cloud-based evidence management is more secure, easily accessible, and backed up in multiple locations. Learn more about the benefits here.

Is your paper and digital evidence starting to stack up? Then you might want to consider an alternate storage method.

While some evidence simply has to be kept in its original physical state, other files can be converted to electronic formats. This eliminates the need for piles and folders full of paper.

Simply storing files on a computer isn’t enough, though. You run the risk of losing evidence if you do it that way.

Cloud-based evidence management is much more effective. Keep reading to find out why.

1. Better Security

The evidence you’ve found and tracked down, needs to be kept safe and organized. Court cases have been lost due to mishandling of evidence. Plus, if you don’t take the time to organize and protect your evidence, you may just find it missing when you need it.

Cloud storage offers high-security evidence storage that is much better than storing lots of evidence on a shelf. When you store evidence in the cloud, it’s stored digitally and is always available to authorized users.

But hacks keep happening right? So how does cloud storage secure your data?

Since hackers continue to try to steal data, the good guys are hard at work too. Technology updates and constant monitoring helps prevent data loss.

2. Easily Accessible Anywhere

Have you ever wished you had a specific case, or piece of evidence available to you, no matter where you are? If so, cloud storage is perfect for you.

Evidence that’s stored in the cloud can be accessed by you in any location, as long as you have an internet connection and a browser. This means you can pull something up on your phone when you’re away from the office, or look through evidence on your computer at work.

Cloud storage offers access flexibility you just can’t get any other way. This flexibility doesn’t alter security, though. You’ll have access, and those who shouldn’t, won’t.

3. Multiple Backup Locations

One way to prevent data loss is through regular backups. These backups make sure you have your important files kept in more than one place.

You can backup your data to a physical location, but using the cloud is better. The best option is to use multiple methods for storing your most important files.

Storing in the cloud along with different physical locations means you won’t have to worry about crashes. If one storage location goes down, you’ll have the other one.

More than having multiple backup locations, cloud storage offers you an entirely different type of storage. This offers greater protection from data loss.

4. Compliance Options

Since you’re working with sensitive data, you must follow all compliance rules. Cloud storage does offer compliance options. You’ll just need to make sure you choose an option that fits.

Check all requirements to make sure your online storage choice matches all compliance rules.

Don’t only focus on that, though. Choose an option that gives you all the tools you need to access your data properly, as well as remain compliant.

5. Budget-Friendly

There are a couple ways to utilize storage of evidence data. First, you can pay a company up front for the software and any equipment you’ll need. Once you have those things, you’ll host everything at your site. 

Or you can have someone else do your hosting for you. Buy storage as needed ,and don’t worry about housing any software or server hardware. Just utilize the service and know your evidence is securely protected.

Having a company host your data and software for you offer a more affordable option. You’ll pay month by month, where you’ll have to put down a large lump sum if you want to host your storage in-house, and then pay an annual maintenance fee.

6. Readily Available

Not only can you access your storage from multiple devices and wherever you have internet and a browser, but you can also access it whenever you want. You won’t have to wait for a company to be operating to see your data.

Do you need emergency access at 2:31 a.m.? No problem. Simply access your cloud storage and you’re in.

7. Always Up-to-Date

When hosting your own data, you’re in charge of making sure that all important software and hardware updates happen. Updates are important for maintaining security and ease of use.

Cloud storage that’s hosted elsewhere will automatically be updated when needed. You won’t have to oversee this at all. Instead, you’ll just have the convenience of knowing that everything is up to date.

8. Options That Fit

If you’re thinking that cloud storage isn’t as flexible as choosing your own physical storage, think again. There are many options when it comes to storing things in the cloud.

If you don’t need a ton of space, you don’t have to pay for a ton of space. Simply choose a company that has the options you need and you’ll be good to go.

Need to change your storage amount later, or the number of people who have access? No problem. You’ll be able to do it quickly.

9. Free up Storage Space

You have a lot to work with when you’re cracking a case. Help things go smoothly by eliminating piles of paper and evidence.

Cloud storage keeps your files and evidence off your desk and out of your file cabinets. This leaves you more room to work and gives much better retrieval of information.

10. Reap Benefits Instantly

Whenever your cloud storage provider has an update for security or just a cool new feature, you won’t have to wait for it. Instead, they’ll simply roll it out.

This saves you time and money since you don’t have to spend time visiting stores or talking to customer service people. New features and updates will show up in your storage automatically. This keeps everything convenient for you.

Cloud-Based Evidence Management is the Way to Go

There are some benefits to storing evidence in a physical location in-house But there are more reasons to go with cloud-based evidence management.

Cloud-based storage frees up your space, time, and money, making sure you can optimize all of those things. Try it out to see how it can improve your operations.

Want to see exactly how we can help? Contact us today!