Social Networking Sites and Digital Forensics

Introduction  

Being able to attend EnFuse 2018 was an amazing experience. This was my first time attending the conference, and it was the first time OpenText Inc. hosted the conference after they acquired Guidance Software Inc. in mid-2017. Not only was the event loaded with hundreds of industry professionals, former FBI director James Comey was a keynote speaker. It was genuinely interesting to hear him weigh in on many topics. Beyond the keynotes, however, there were several information sessions hosted by business owners, industry professionals, and other enthusiasts of the practice, who provided valuable information for those who attended. I am very grateful to have attended Enfuse 2018. I sat in on numerous sessions within my field of interest and networked with other attendees and speakers.

Digital Evidence from Social Networking Sites & Smarthphone Apps Section.

The session that resonated most with me was “Digital Evidence from Social Networking Sites & Smartphone Apps.” This session was presented by Julie Lewis, the CEO, President, and founder of Digital Mountain Inc. and David Dang, Senior Solutions Manager at Digital Mountain Inc. This session touched upon what information is available on various social networking applications and sites, and they gave arguments for their relevance and importance. Social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn host over 350 million users. The data that this generates can actually be relevant as evidence in many cases. Lewis and Dang emphasized that the simplest of platforms can be home to some of the most potentially viable information and biometric data (fingerprints, iris, and facial scans). Facebook actually has the capability to pull up a full report on a user, including previous posts, “About Me” information, and other logs useful in an investigation. I genuinely enjoyed learning more about how social media plays a role in forensic investigations, and I learned how it directly applies to my field of study.

Conclusion

As Enfuse 2018 ended, there was a brief moment of relief as the busiest days were behind me.  With this, came the realization of the amazing information and opportunities provided to me at the event. Networking with industry professionals and attending daily sessions allowed me to expand my knowledge and interest in my field. I truly thank OpenText and Champlain College for providing me with such an opportunity. Not only did I move me leaps and bounds ahead of last year, I also met some amazing individuals along the way. I can’t wait to share and utilize my newly acquired knowledge throughout my studies in the years to come.

 

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