By Susanna Speier
Denver Private Investigator Blogger
Chris Wells, a computer, cell phone and vehicle systems forensic examiner, lives in a world of ones and zeros. His many years of experience working in the cyber realm have made him invaluable to private investigators, attorneys at law and other clients. He has also spent the last few months developing a workshop that will cover the nuances of digital evidence.
"My clients aren’t as savvy about the cyber world as they need to be," Wells explains. "Just stop and think about the common devices around you; in your home and in your car, that store your personal information. A client's whereabouts can be verified by their vehicle's on-board navigational system. Some don't know that if you post to Facebook on a cellphone that your entry may be internally tagged with your coordinates."
Law enforcement frequently works with dedicated digital forensic teams to glean hidden infomation from digital sources. It is important for private sector PIs and attorneys to understand the basics of digital footprints. This is the reason, according to Wells, that "they don't think right off the bat, 'oh there's digital evidence here and I need to try and go get it.'"
You can visit Wells' Linkedin post to learn more about his upcoming $40 digital evidence workshops. And if you're not yet sold on the value and want to sample an abbreviated version of the material he'll be presenting, Wells is doing a presentation at the January 4th PPIAC meeting.
Well continued, “what I want to do in the workshop is remind people of all the devices they use on a day to day basis." For example, "at home they talk to their Amazon echo. Their nest thermostat. All these devices are storing information about people, activities, their contacts their communications (and it is) all information (that) can be made available to an investigator."
Could the in-house IT person or the tech support desk at Best Buy do the trick? "The guy at Best Buy has no knowledge or bearing on legal evidence," explains Wells, "a person who does digital forensic work will always focus on what does the legal outcome need to be."
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