Infidelity is a difficult, painful topic that unfortunately impacts a large number of marriages in this country. When a person suspects his or her spouse of infidelity many will turn to the services of private investigators to gather evidence that will prove the suspicions or, perhaps, find another explanation for the behavior that has caused the curious spouse to wonder about cheating.
The job of a private investigator is to delve into the life of the suspected party and identify any actions or evidence trails that point to infidelity. A decade ago this investigation was done largely through surveillance. Private investigators would follow targets around, spend hours waiting for them to move from place to place, and record the evidence in the form of notes, video, and sometimes hundreds of still photographs.
Even today, this type of investigation still provides important evidence. However, it is also time consuming, sometimes limited in its scope, and at times very uncomfortable. Seasoned investigators often note that the most difficult part of the surveillance portion of the job is not locating the target or gathering the evidence, but weathering the long stretches of waiting, trying to stay awake despite the boredom, and resisting the need to leave a post in order to find a restroom.
Modern infidelity investigation techniques are taking advantage of the many opportunities presented by today’s computers and technology. While some surveillance is still done in order to collect the most concrete of evidence (such as the photos and videos of the adulterer in action), about 70% of the actual work a private investigator does during an infidelity investigation is what is known as computer forensics.
The term “computer forensics” refers to analyzing the data that has been stored on a target’s personal computer, laptop, smart phone or other personal electronic device. If the investigator is able to gain access to this data he can duplicate the hard drive and carefully evaluate what is contained within it.
The investigator is looking specifically for things such as emails, saved instant messages, financial records, receipts for gifts, and anything else that may provide documentation of an affair. This can even include files that the subject may have thought had been removed.
In many divorce cases a first step is to petition the courts to have the suspected adulterer’s computers seized. This can allow private investigators the opportunity to pull out evidence that demonstrates that the subject has been dishonest about his or her activities and relationships.
If you live in the Maryland or Washington DC metro area, we can help you find out for sure if your spouse is cheating on you using techniques like computer forensics to secure the physical proof you will need to answer those tough questions.