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Georgia Southern computer security expert authors new reference book “Computer Forensics”

Virtually every day, news coverage can be found reporting on children who are victims of an Internet predator. In today’s digital age, trusting youths can put themselves and their families at risk by allowing computer con men to gain access to personal information.

Computer security expert Robert Newman says the average person has no idea how much information is available about him or her in cyberspace or how to prevent that information from being used against them.

Newman, a lecturer of information systems in the College of Information Technology at Georgia Southern University, said his concerns about the increase of Internet predators and computer scammers prompted him to author the new reference book ‘Computer Forensics –  Evidence Collection and Management.”

‘My goal is to educate others about computer security,” said Newman. ‘Numerous crimes are committed using computers and other electronic devices such as cell phones and digital cameras. The public needs to be aware of how cybercriminals operate, and first responders have to know what evidence to look for in order to bring these digital predators and scammers to justice.”

While the reference work is geared toward computer users in business, law enforcement, government and education communities, Newman said he wrote the book using ‘everyday language” to make the information more accessible to the general public, too.

According to Newman, ‘Computer Forensics” provides a wide range of information related to cybercrime, electronic commerce and other activities that exploit computer and digital devices. The book is divided into two major parts. The first six chapters are devoted to the basics related to crimes, laws, policies, tools and other information needed to understand computer forensic investigations. The second part contains eight chapters that provide information related to crime scene investigations and management, laboratory construction and legal testimony.

‘People fail to take precautions to protect themselves in the digital world,” Newman stated. ‘They don’t utilize spyware or virus protection that prevents unauthorized computer programs from accessing their computers.”

Once a person becomes victimized, Newman said it is important to involve law enforcement and the criminal justice community.

‘Today, all criminal cases involve digital evidence. Cell phones and PDAs have records of phone calls or instant messages and in some cases geographical locations,” said Newman. ‘E-mails can be backtracked to their sources. Computer forensic specialists have a variety of tools and techniques at their disposal to investigate crimes and apprehend the offender.”

A Certified Information Security Systems Professional, Newman has more than 38 years of experience in computer technology in the private sector and the law enforcement community. Before joining Georgia Southern University, he accumulated a considerable amount of hands-on computer networking knowledge in software development, broadband operations and network management and surveillance at BellSouth. Prior to his career in private industry, Newman was a member of federal, state and county law enforcement agencies in Georgia, Alabama and South Carolina. Currently, Newman is an active member of the FBI’s Coastal Empire Infragard, which is a cooperative between the U.S. government, led by the FBI, and an association of businesses, academic institutions, state and local law enforcement agencies and other participants dedicated to increasing the security of United States critical infrastructures.

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