Occasionally, it becomes necessary to hire a computer forensics expert. Usually, this is only necessary in situations where litigation may be involved, as it’s an expensive process that requires highly trained engineers who know what to look for when examining a computer. These experts are able to prove conclusively when data was deleted from a drive, what programs were used, which emails were sent, and much more. If you’re considering computer forensics services, it’s vital that you find an expert who’s knowledgeable in his field.
Here’s a guide to what you should look for when hiring a computer expert for a case involving a Windows XP computer.
1. Training and Certification – Computer forensics experts should have training and certification in EnCase software. This program is the industry standard for forensics work. Generally, you want to have a computer forensics expert who’s familiar with the type of case the you’ll be presenting. It’s best to hire someone who’s worked past cases that are very similar to yours. Ask for references from past clients. Good computer forensics experts have developed portfolios of past cases that they should be willing to share with potential new clients. Talk to the expert and consider whether he’d be valuable if it was necessary to hire him for expert testimony in your case.
2. Experience with the Windows XP Operating System – It’s very important to hire an expert that has plenty of experience with the Windows XP operating system, and if possible experience with other operating systems as well. This can be valuable if other computers were involved in the case, particularly computers that you may not be familiar with. The good news is that modern computer forensics experts are almost all skilled in Windows XP data recovery, restoration, and exploration, so you shouldn’t have too much trouble finding a professional with relevant expertise.
3. Chain of Custody Documentation – All computer forensics professionals should be able to provide a full chain of custody report when they receive computer materials for electronic discovery or other services. Regardless of whether the computer’s a Windows XP machine or anything else, the chain of custody report will make evidence viable in a court of law. Without it, the expensive services of computer forensics experts is pretty much worthless. Make sure that the expert you’re considering offers full chain of custody, and ask to see samples.
Do you have any tips or recommendations for a Windows XP computer? Post in our comments section below.