Computer Forensics Are Not For Amateurs
Have you been hacked? Or suspect it? Do you believe that a crime may have been committed on your computer? You feel violated and vulnerable and you’re unsure what to do about it? In today’s interconnected Internet world, cyber crime is rampant and growing.
Or perhaps you cannot access important files and you cannot figure out why. You’ve tried everything you can and you’re getting nowhere. Plus you are afraid what your search efforts may be messing up in your computer.
A cyber attack or lost files can be annoying or embarrassing or costly or catastrophic. But you’re more than annoyed, embarrassed or fearful. You’re also angry and you want to know who is doing this to you (if it’s not yourself), how to stop it and how to prevent it from ever happening again.
So where do you start? While it is possible to do some amateur detective work on your own, it’s not advisable. Doing simple things like checking web history is usually not sufficient. Plus Internet law is very tricky. Cyber criminals are more and more sophisticated. Computers are more complex, and the attacks more clever and difficult to penetrate. Plus you may have data on your computer that is confidential or sensitive in nature, and you’re not thrilled with just anyone accessing your private files.
Trying to fix this yourself can also expose you to potential legal penalties. Accessing online data sources improperly or without permission can be illegal activity. You may want to find concrete evidence that a crime has been committed, yet you cannot offer this as proof to the proper authorities since the information obtained was accessed illegally. Even if it is your computer, there are some government laws and regulations that limit the scope of forensic activities. Plus there is the real danger that your “digging” can create even more disruption in your computer.
The smart first step is to call a private investigator company that provides computer forensic services. Professionals know how to dig beneath the surface, including finding files that were previously deleted. Plus they have advanced knowledge of how Internet criminals work, and what to look for. A private investigator (P.I.) has the ability to delve into this world in a way that you cannot. And if the data lost is confidential or sensitive, a pro can proceed discreetly.
Cyber forensics are quite complicated, especially if the person you are trying to investigate discovers what you are doing. If cyber crime is involved and the criminal finds out that you are fighting back, they may destroy the evidence and/or try to hurt you in order to prevent you from going to the authorities. This is not television; playing amateur detective can get you hurt.
Instead of trying to get to the bottom of an Internet crime on your own, you should allow a professional with more experience to handle this for you. The last thing you want is for evidence to be tainted, inadmissible and/or someone tries to hurt you. Be smart and hire a P.I. to handle everything for you. And if this is simply lost data that you need to access, but can’t, hire a computer forensics specialist.