Computer Forensics: What Clients Need to Know

The digital age we live in has opened up a whole new area for Private Investigators, “Computer forensics.” Be it a laptop, a tablet, a phone, or any other digital device, there is key evidence that can be provided for both criminal and civil cases. A law firm often engages a private investigator to obtain information for a case. If any electronic device is thought to contain relevant information, a computer forensics investigator may be brought onto the team.

Art or Science?

A computer forensics investigator must know computer hardware, software, networks, electronic communication, and other left-brained (computer geek) stuff. That’s the science part.

An investigator also has to know how to write reports, testify effectively in court, use good human relations skills, and have the ability to come up with imaginative solutions (think outside the box), and other right-brained skills. That’s the art part. Some would say for many computer forensics investigators, that’s the hard part.

Such a professional does not come cheap. A client’s best bet is to establish clear goals for the team involved in solving the problem at hand, especially the compute forensics investigator, and then keep the lines of communication open as the case progresses.

Investigative Priorities

The legal requirements for getting information off a digital device are pretty much the same as when handling any kind of evidence. Although a private investigator does not need a search warrant, he/she must abide by all the rules of evidence collecting. These rules include obtaining and analyzing relevant evidence, maintaining chain of custody, writing reports on findings, and archiving the computer data and the reports.

Digital forensics, when done properly, can make or break a case. A full investigative team on board may provide the edge needed to win in court or settle out of court.

About the author: Tim O’Rourke is the president and founder of The Grafton Group, located in Tampa, Fl and serving the entire state of Florida.  The Grafton Group is a nationally recognized team of investigators that assist clients nationally with their varied and sensitive needs. To contact them please visit them on the web at http://www.thegraftongroup.org or call them at (813)658-9438 or (727)648-3510

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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