Some of the more common pitfalls that a client can encounter when hiring a computer forensics expert or other professional are easy to avoid and may save your case. Here are a few to keep in mind:
Waiting Until The Last Minute
Although when pressed, a computer forensics expert can sometimes get the job done and be ready for a deposition or trial in three or four days, more often than not, problems can arise that will preclude us from doing the best that we can for you. As well, costs skyrocket if a client wants to move to the “front of the line”. Sooner is always better than later for a number of reasons. The best computer forensic investigator for the job may already be booked. He or she may also have personal scheduling conflicts. They may need to travel to get the job done and there will obviously be costs for that travel. Some experts may also charge more for rush assignments. in some cases, the information that the computer forensics expert retrieves may yield more places that need further investigation, but you are out of time.
Hiring The First Computer Forensics Expert Who Tells You What You Want To Hear
There are many experts to choose from, but few are the right ones for your assignment. Like any other person in business, the forensic computer investigator knows how to sell their services. Computer forensics can be very complicated work, particularly in a network environment. If the answers seem too simple, move on. Make sure that they are the right expert and not just an expert with the right answers. Are they licensed private investigators or simply some guy with forensic software? The latter knows how to run a search program but has little or no understanding or investigations and how to get you everything that you need. What is their history in court? Who else do they work for? You should ask these and many more questions before making a decision.
Hiring From The Low Cost Drawer
The lowest cost computer forensic expert is likely to make the worst expert. The reality about this work is that those who are truly qualified to help your client cannot offer their services for $1,500.00. To expend the time, energy and resources needed to do even the simplest computer forensics, it is not possible to run a profitable computer forensics practice and charge rates that low. If the expert is a good one, they will know that they are worth more. True experts do not “discount” their fees.
Give Your Expert Inadequate Information
Providing your computer forensics expert with all of the information they need to conduct a complete, accurate and thorough investigation is a must.Anything less, for whatever reason, will certainly put your client’s case at risk.
If for some reason you do not have access to everything you need, let your forensics expert know ahead of time. One of the worst things you can do is hide information from your expert just because it doesn’t support your theory. When aware of everything, the computer forensics investigator can be prepared and honest without accidentally taking you down the wrong path. Take the time necessary to fully brief your expert. Your expert is an integral part of the case, and on many occasions will be a decisive factor in its outcome. An expert that has not been provided clear, concise direction and answers to their questions will be of little use, and will end up costing more money in the long run.
Create An Off-The-Wall Theory And Ask The Computer Forensic Investigator To Back It Up
Not only are most of our findings very black and white, we are experts and labeled as such for a reason. It is unlikely that any reputable expert will agree to endorse something unorthodox or illicit. We undergo extensive training not only to become experts but also in investigative ethics. If we tell you that your theory is not supportable, please respect our expertise. Once we give you the evidence found on a hard drive or other storage media, you can form a defensible legal theory that will work. In many cases, we have been presented with a defendant who tries to play the “well maybe” game. “Well maybe a virus caused this to happen on my computer.” “Well maybe someone hacked my computer”. These are all theories we automatically look for. If we say there is no evidence to support that theory, please trust us.