The constant evolution of technology and its use by criminals is a challenge investigators face on a daily basis. Law enforcement is hard-pressed to stay on top of technological trends—new ways for people to share information online seem to crop up every day. Agencies struggle to get their personnel the knowledge, skills, and capabilities they need to incorporate technology into their investigations. Investigators have an urgent need to learn how to search for, locate, save, and replicate online information relating to all areas of crime.
While most investigators today have a working knowledge of the Internet, they may not be aware of the many free tools available that can take that basic knowledge and turn it into something more robust. And while these tools help to streamline and enhance investigations, they are not considered too high-tech or advanced for the basic investigator to master. For instance, using strategically placed punctuation ("Boolean operators," they're called) in a Google search can dramatically change the number of resulting hits from something that is astronomical to something that is more manageable.