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TofuBoy
(@tofuboy)
New Member

As a soon to be graduate, I'm wondering how much of your work life is shared with friends & family whom will most likely find what you do as a digital forensics expert interesting.

Aimed more for those that work within LE, obvious details such as ongoing cases and names of people involved will be left out in conversation but I'd like to know if some people are ok with talking about their jobs outside of work and to how much detail.

I haven't worked within digital forensics yet but I have had experience as a software developer. I ask this question as generally I enjoy talking about my work sometimes especially after stressful or important projects.

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Posted : 24/01/2015 8:44 pm
JerryW
(@jerryw)
Junior Member

I think you may be in for a few surprises from what you say. If you end up working in LE, you will be delving into some very dark areas of human behaviour. The sort of things that make the work interesting and challenging are not generally suitable for discussion over the dinner table. LE work can be often be technically satisfying but only interesting to you and your colleagues.

While family and friends may find the overall concept of what the work is about interesting, that is generally as far as the conversation goes. There are many areas of the work that are time-consuming and frustrating. You certainly won't want to be talking about those. Having worked in the field both in the public and private sector, there is always access to a counsellor provided. That will be the time when you are able to discuss your work after stressful projects.

I'm sorry if this sounds negative, it isn't meant to put you off. On the contrary, it can be very rewarding working out what has happened, especially if someone has tried to cover their tracks. Most people who start off working in computer forensics enjoy doing so and remain in the field.

Do make good use of your hard earned degree and enjoy your career. Just try and go into the work with your eyes wide open and you will find yourself better prepared.

Good luck.

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Posted : 25/01/2015 12:28 am
TofuBoy
(@tofuboy)
New Member

Thank you for the insight. I do look forward to being able to work within LE even if it gets a little dark, I'm sure the satisfaction of a job well done makes up for it.

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Posted : 25/01/2015 6:53 pm
lpforensic
(@lpforensic)
New Member

I prefer to don't speak with anybody. Obviously they know I do forensic. But I don't speak too much about details and situation. They think I do a generic "data recovery".
Luckly I have got lot of interest music, arts, sports. I talk about them!!!!

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Posted : 26/01/2015 1:46 pm
steve862
(@steve862)
Active Member

Hello,

Another consideration is the threat level against law enforcement personnel in some parts of world. If you work for the Police you may be seen as a legitimate target even if you aren't actually a Police Officer.

You should consider how you use social media as well as how you interact in the real world. You might consider not telling casual acquaintances, neighbours and old friends from school what you do for a living.

Law enforcement agencies and private sector employers will probably look at open social media data about prospective employees. If you are good at discretion this will probably also help your future employment prospects.

I won't go over what the others have said in relation to inappropriate conversations at the dinner table. Just be ready to have a different perspective to everyone else and to find different things funny!

Good luck in your career.

Steve

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Posted : 26/01/2015 7:30 pm
eyez0n
(@eyez0n)
Junior Member

I am no longer in LE, but spent approximately 15 years at the US federal and local level.

I have found non-LE folks often had difficulty relating to the dark humor which permeates the LE field and also often and unknowingly put up invisible barriers when dealing with LE (even if the LE member was a friend). I also found that LE members tended to put up their own invisible barriers as well, especially when people just wanted to complain about how they were "screwed" by some cop in another jurisdiction who gave them a ticket they did not deserve (that would be like somebody complaining to a cashier at Target how all cashiers are a problem because a Walmart cashier in another town was rude to them or rang up their order wrong). The danger is that this can lead to an us-vs.-them worldview and there are studies available documenting this phenomenon.

Over time, I found the best course of action for me was to discuss what I did generally (e.g, "hacking investigations", bank fraud, etc.) and quickly move the topic to something else. I did not want "what I did" to become "who I was".

Of course, when I was young and single, I was more than willing to try to regale people with my exploits.

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Posted : 26/01/2015 8:41 pm
TofuBoy
(@tofuboy)
New Member

Social media usage is an interesting one, something I've noticed while I've been job hunting. Although I don't use things like Facebook as much as some people, it is something I would have to start paying attention too.

Another consideration is the threat level against law enforcement personnel in some parts of world. If you work for the Police you may be seen as a legitimate target even if you aren't actually a Police Officer.

You should consider how you use social media as well as how you interact in the real world. You might consider not telling casual acquaintances, neighbours and old friends from school what you do for a living.

Would you also consider websites such as LinkedIn to fall under this as anyone can potentially find out where you have worked. Having used this website myself, I do find it very useful as it makes networking with professionals within the field easier. What would be your standpoint on this with regards to those in LE?

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Posted : 30/01/2015 8:06 am
steve862
(@steve862)
Active Member

TofuBoy,

I think LinkedIn can fall into that category too. Whilst it's difficult to make a fool of yourself on LinkedIn it will contain some useful information about where you work, where you live (to some extent) and who your professional contacts are.

Facebook on the other hand is in many ways easier to lock down from others but frequently is left open. From a career point of view I've come across a number of younger people who can't understand why they aren't getting the jobs they want whilst their Facebook status is always 'drunk' and where there are pictures of their intimate piercings!

With all the tofu you eat you want to live to a ripe old age so make sure you consider the threat risk, even though the risk is tiny.

Steve

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Posted : 30/01/2015 4:09 pm
TofuBoy
(@tofuboy)
New Member

Thank you Steve for your insight on the topic. Definitely something that I will keep in mind.

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Posted : 30/01/2015 5:53 pm
MDCR
 MDCR
(@mdcr)
Active Member

On some forensics positions, you do not talk about what you do with friends, family or anyone else. I have worked in the field and things surrounding it for several years, and it wasnt until recently i was given an ok to talk about what types of training i have recieved.

Some people have problems working under these conditions and yes, it severely limits your career options and it can stop you from getting a job outside an agency with such restrictions since you cannot talk about what you have done over the last years - basically it is a big blank space in your CV.

Whenever i have gone on interviews i have been given clearance to what i was going to talk about with the interviewer. Interviewers persist on asking questions that i cannot answer, you just want to tell them that "yes, i have worked with this and that and im qualified", you basically have to sit there and think things through before you say anything.

Same goes for friends and family "So what do you do"? "I, uh, work with IT", and they say "A-ha" and go away. Some people openly share their experiences in working with the same agency because they think everything is ok to talk about since they never signed the same agreement, and then expect you to share your experiences back, which leads to the death of the conversation and they think you are weird.

So, think twice before signing a secrecy agreement. How will it affect you in the long run? Will your family understand if you come home angry from the job one day and cannot talk about it? How will they react when you lie there in bed and cannot sleep because they never read or saw what you saw? Thinks like that seem cool on TV, but reality is different.

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Posted : 02/04/2015 9:26 am
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