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An Introduction to Computer Investigations

Computer investigations, sometimes known as computer forensics, is an exciting area and often glamorized (along with its capabilities somewhat exaggerated) in film and television shows like CSI, NCIS and Spooks.

You might even be familiar with some of the technical jargon or processes used by professional computer investigation experts due to these shows or even recent media publications on the subject matter.

The field of computer investigations is a growing technological field which can produce great results when utilized by a computer investigation professional. Quite often, the methods used by a computer investigator exceed that of a normal or advanced home computer user or even IT department employee.

It is also important to note that there are many complex legalities revolving around the use of computer investigations and professional help is always encouraged when approaching a new investigation.

What Does a Computer Investigation Involve

Computer investigation has been defined as a technological, systematic inspection of the computer system and its contents for evidence or supportive evidence of a crime or other computer use that is being inspected.

However, computer forensics is also widely used in civil litigation matters to great effect also. The type of evidence sought varies and can include:

  • Theft of trade secrets,
  • Theft of or destruction of intellectual property,
  • Fraud.

Computer investigation requires specialized expertise that goes way beyond normal data collection and preservation techniques, and care should be taken and selecting a professional investigation expert, such as USA Investigators to make sure that you hire someone who is fully able to meet all the requirements of the position.

How Is Computer Investigation Utilized?

The field of computer investigation allows professionals, such as USA Investigators, to research and extract data from hardware and software devices. Computer investigation also allows professionals to monitor and access information on networks, devices and provide clients with useable information which can also be used as evidence.

Common places data can be extracted or stylized by a computer investigator include:

  • Mobile phones,
  • Laptops, desktops, net-books and other PC devices,
  • Hard-drives (both internal and external),
  • Extracting data that has been lost or deleted,
  • USB drives,
  • Anywhere data has been used or collected.

How Computer Investigators Can Help In a Lawsuit

Quiet often, we are introduced to computer investigations by the way of the media. When large corporate cases take the main stage, is it usually always due to the utilization of a professional computer investigator who is able to extract and utilize data on a series of networks, devices and computers in a way that the data can be represented as informational and become useful evidence which is respected in a court of law.