Just twenty years ago, cell phones were luxury items carried by wealthy businessmen. Now they have become indispensable item almost all Americans. They have even replaced landline phones in over half of all American households. With cell phones playing such a major role in our daily lives, it’s no wonder they are also gaining evidentiary importance.

From Cell Phones to Smartphones

When cell phones first came out, there were dozens of companies rushing to compete. This meant there was a wide variety of operating systems, and it made recovering data difficult. Today, two-thirds of Americans use smartphones, which generally run one of two standard operating systems: Android or iOS. This allows Philadelphia digital forensics experts to learn the ins and outs of these operating systems and to recover data quickly and efficiently.

However, in addition to texting, photos, and phone calls, these smartphones are hosts to a staggering array of third-party applications: nearly 225 billion applications were downloaded in 2016 alone, and that number is only expected to grow. Many applications become a viral sensation when they are released, only to quickly lose popularity (Pokemon Go, anyone?). Others start off strong and keep growing (such as Kik Messenger, which had 1 million registered users within 15 days of its release). 

Messaging applications are extremely popular, often being used in place of standard text messaging. In 2014, WhatsApp delivered over 7 trillion messages: roughly 1,000 messages for every person on earth. This app alone transmits twice as many messages as the global standard messaging system. Messaging apps are even becoming more popular than traditional social media platforms.

Messaging Apps Meet Digital Forensics

So what effect does this have on how Philadelphia digital forensics services gather evidence for your case? At Precise, we familiarize ourselves with the most popular apps, how they store data, what type of data can be retrieved, and what data can be most beneficial to your case. This includes:

Kik Messenger – Since its introduction in October 2010, Kik has seen a steady explosion of popularity, with over 300 million users worldwide. Our digital forensics experts in Philadelphia can recover contacts (usernames and IP addresses as well as profile picture links and timestamps) and message contents, including attachments.

WhatsApp: Another cross-platform instant messenger, WhatsApp has over 600 million users. Facebook purchased the application in February 2014, which has only added to its popularity. We can recover the content and status of messages; timestamps; geolocation data (if available); and thumbnail/attachment image and details.

Skype: Most people are familiar with Skype’s video and calling features, but it also offers instant messaging and SMS. A Philadelphia digital forensics expert can recover all pertinent data from these messages. While Skype doesn’t record the actual content of calls or videos, it does record what time the calls were started, their duration (in seconds), and whether they were incoming calls, conference calls, or put on hold, and the external IP addresses of the correspondents.

Call Precise for All Your Digital Forensics Needs in Philadelphia

Since 2001, Precise has been offering quality services at affordable prices. And now with our Philadelphia eDiscovery managed services, we have made this technology even more affordable and accessible to our clients. If your litigation depends on a thorough digital forensics examination of a smartphone, look no further than the experts at Precise.