Mistakes to Avoid When Hiring a Mobile Forensic Examiner
Commonly, people hire a digital forensic examiner when they do not need one. Often, the information a person is looking for can be found without the help of a digital forensic examiner. Most companies are more than willing to take your money so be aware of those that seems too eager to take your case.
Always get a price. Often, forensic companies will not discuss the price over the phone with a prospective client. This should be a warning sign to anyone looking for a digital forensic examiner. If the representative cannot give you a set price, it is likely that the price will continue to change during the course of the investigation (and not in the client’s favor!)
Not doing research on the company before hiring them. It is very important to do some research on the digital forensics company you are thinking of hiring. Do a quick Google search and see if the companies name comes on any review sites. Be aware of any company that does not display the owner’s name on the website. Digital forensics is all about integrity and if a company refuses to list their owner’s name in plain sight, something is wrong.
Waiting too long. Data is not permanent. The longer a client waits to contact a digital forensic examiner to look at their device, the lower the chances of being able to pull anything useful off the device becomes. If you want clarity on an issue, best practice is to contact a qualified investigator as soon as possible.
Not knowing what your goals are for the investigation. Before calling any digital forensics firm, always have a clear idea of what you are trying to accomplish. Sit down with a pad and paper and write a brief summary of what is going on and what questions you want answers to. This not only helps to steer the examiner in the right direction, but will also help the client avoid unforeseen costs during the course of the investigation.
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Paul Baeppler is currently a full-time police lieutenant with 25 years on the job. He also runs several private investigation and security businesses, licensed in Ohio, California and New York.