The huge growth in social media usage as been a boon for private investigators. The volume of content that is uploaded to sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn and Instagram every day has become a great research tool when trying to track somebody down.
Obviously, if the person you are trying to track is not an avid social media user then it’s not going to help that much but it’s amazing how many are, and the fact that they are not that discreet about what they share is a bonus!
By examining social media pages, using name and location searches on sites like Facebook, and checking out friends’ pages as well, a private investigator can soon extract a good amount of information that will help them in their investigation. Uploaded photos can reveal locations of where a person has been and establishments they have frequented. Follow-up surveillance can then take place at locations where the individual might be.
Online conversations can also be checked to see if they reveal any helpful information about a person’s whereabouts and patterns of behaviour.
Google is also a great tool for assisting with investigation. The reverse image search facility enables you to track images of an individual to see where else on the internet they may have been posted, other sizes of the image that you’ve searched for and also similar images. This can potentially give clues to locations and provide a chronology of activity.
Social media and the internet in general is helping private investigators to track down witnesses, people evading debt, compile background checks and build due diligence cases. There is a plethora of information online that private investigation companies are utilising to great effect and by keeping up with the latest developments and new technologies, investigative practices are being enhanced and improved.