A Computer Forensics Expert is someone who has the knowledge, certifications and in many states the State License to investigate and/or recover data from computers using various technologies while preserving the evidence for court.
Many Computer Forensics Experts are police officers or are employed by the police departments. Others are private computer experts that are used only when needed by the local police force or in conjunction with attorneys or Private Investigators.
Computer forensics investigators may be called to testify in court if required to explain their role in evidence gathering and to detail the evidence recovery procedure used. Despite the hard drive being erased the computer forensics investigator can retrieve part or all of the evidence using specialized Forensic recovery programs. Computer Forensics Experts can also work to decode encryption programs that prevent information, such as pictures, text messages, spreadsheets or databases, stored on the computer from being accessed.
A computer forensics Expert must have a good working knowledge of computer construction as well as hard drive processes and data recovery. An Investigator must have patience and be willing to work for long hours to try to recover information from computers that may have been erased or physically damaged. Additionally, understanding networking, encryption and computer crime is crucial to this career. Common work for Computer Forensic Expert activities include:
Examining and recovering information from computers and other data storage devices to be used in criminal or civil prosecution and evidence gathering.
Taking apart computers and reconstructing damaged systems to attempt to find and locate evidence on the machine.
Preparing reports on information found/located on computers, hard drives and other memory devices.
Testifying in court regarding evidence collected and the methods used to collect the evidence.
When choosing a Computer Forensic Expert, make sure they have the correct certifications, licenses and experience to best help you in your situation.