Private Investigators and Computer Forensics
A private detective, a private investigator or secret investigator, is someone who may be hired by people, companies or NGOs to undertake private investigative services. Private investigators are also often employed by lawyers in criminal and civil cases. A private investigator may be employed by the police as well. Private detectives use different methods to conduct their investigations; these include the following: secretly observing and recording phone conversations, secretly following and recording vehicles, secretly keeping documents that are not normally seen or found in an office, and so on.
Some private detectives may work freelance, and some may work through a legal firm or a private agency. A legal firm may hire investigators through contract. A private agency may work on a contract basis with an investigator for a set period of time. It is not uncommon for private investigators to work independently, however, when surveillance activities turn up that are considered unlawful, they can report this to the relevant authorities. In such instances, they may work directly for the authorities by themselves.
In addition, some private detectives may work for an employer on a contractual basis. An employer may need to do some monitoring of the employees’ telephone usage, in order to ensure that there is no inappropriate communication going on. In such cases, the employer hires a private detective to do the monitoring. The monitoring could involve conducting interviews or secretly following the employees.
There are many services that are offered by private detectives. They include finding long lost people. These are known as Missing Persons services or Missing Children services. Most private detectives have extensive experience in finding and recovering children who have become victims of child abuse or child robbery. In addition to finding missing persons, they offer many other services like recovering stolen computers, locating missing adults and so on.
There are many reasons why people hire private detectives. Some private detectives make phone calls to verify facts, prior to hiring a person. This can be done to make sure that you are hiring the right person. Some private detectives also interview people prior to hiring them. In this way, they can get information about a person’s previous employment, criminal record and other information.
Private detectives use many different tools in their investigation techniques. Some private detectives use video cameras to get video footage of a crime scene or to review it for clues. With the help of a computer, they can make copies of any recorded material, for future use. Some detectives also use surveillance equipment, like spy cameras or GPS tracking. They can monitor suspects, suspect’s vehicles and suspects’ whereabouts with the use of GPS tracking.
Private detectives are usually associated with local law enforcement agencies. If a private investigator uses surveillance equipment or spy cameras to gather evidence during an investigation, then they are considered a private eye. Surveillance techniques may include the use of video cameras, GPS trackers, surveillance cameras, secret cameras, nanny cameras and hidden video recorders. A private eye may work in combination with other law enforcement agencies to investigate a case. For example, an investigator may work in conjunction with the New York State Police, the FBI, the CIA, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Secret Service.
Lately, computer forensic investigators have been in demand, particularly those working for private investigators. Computer forensic investigators are required to get formal training before they can legally perform investigations using computer technology. After the training, the private investigator will need to pass a state certification exam. Then he/she will need to obtain a national certification from one of several national accrediting bodies. After certification, computer forensic investigators can work as contractors for government agencies, work for the government as a consultant or work at a private firm specializing in computer forensics.