Electronic Data Discovery

Electronic data discovery is an increasingly important kind of investigation in the digital age. This kind of investigation gathers electronic information from digital sources for use in civil and criminal cases. Professional investigators gather, analyze and piece together evidence using various platforms, from native formats to text or graphical formats.

In this way, investigators can efficiently and quickly comb through large repositories of data to find the evidence they need. Private investigators in the modern era are not only licensed to perform this sort of process, they are experts at the digital technology that goes into this kind of analysis.

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Data Accessed in E-Discovery Investigations

When it comes to electronic research, we live in a digital world. There’s a platitude that everything about you is on the Internet somewhere, and it’s much truer than many people would like to believe—if one knows where to search. That’s where private investigators come into the picture.

When performing an e-investigation, detectives could comb through virtual reams of data, including emails, hard drives, thumb drives, firewall logs, phone records, SMS and instant messages, physical media, websites, software program records, internet caches, spreadsheets, mobile devices, security tapes and footage, computer backups, document files, and even the metadata attached to these files.

They might have to recover and restore lost or deliberately deleted information, track and observe changes to files, and establish the potential use of said files in criminal activities, whether it’s cybercrime or physical crime.

Electronic Data Discovery

How an E-Discovery Investigation Proceeds

Usually, someone involved with the investigation will contact a private detective regarding a concern about their data or someone else’s. This could be a business worried about data breaches or thefts, or even law enforcement looking to pursue a potential criminal case.

Sometimes, the P.I. will advise the client to immediately shut down potentially infected computers, or gather a specific subset of data to prepare for the investigation. The detective will then begin a detailed scrutiny of the relevant data, including creating backups of potentially compromised or useful files, speaking with witnesses, performing security assessments, and carefully examining potentially infected systems.

They will then go through the data in detail, potentially taking further steps like surveillance, detailed network and computer investigation, data recovery, and other technological and on-the-ground techniques to gather the necessary information in the case. Usually these investigations involve attorneys, IT professionals, records management specialists, forensic specialists and others who have the skills the detective might need which exceed their own.

Who Uses eDiscovery Investigators?

With incidences of data breaches and cybercrime on the rise, companies have lost billions and individuals have had their lives destroyed through identity, data and electronic financial theft. Anyone who notices unauthorized alterations in their data or files, has employees that act suspicious, sees evidence of degraded computer performance, or is having problems accounting for finances may be a victim of this sort of breach.

When this happens to any company, they turn to licensed detectives and e-discovery professionals to solve the case. If the idea of thwarting cyber criminals and helping to preserve the security of personal data is attractive to you, read up on how you might pursue the career of a private investigator in your state.

Online Criminal Justice and Private Investigator Programs

Online Criminal Justice and Private Investigator Programs

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Choose your area of study and receive free information about programs you are interested in. Private investigators are used by law firms, law enforcement, insurance companies, as well as individuals to conduct investigations to build criminal and civil cases. A degree related to criminal justice could benefit an aspiring private investigator greatly. Request information from multiple schools to find the best program and educational opportunity for you!