Technology And Private Investigation: The Basics

At the mention of a private investigator, you may think of the old-school images of someone following people, digging through trash cans, and sneaking around. While some private investigation situations do still call for things like this, there's a new tool that's become a central focus in private investigation. If you have recently hired a private investigator or are considering it, you should understand the role that the internet will now play in your case. Here's a look at how private investigators can utilize the internet to help resolve your case.

Internet Searches

Search engines are a great tool for finding most any information, and that includes finding people or determining ownership of a property. Internet searches put a wealth of information at your private investigator's fingertips, making it faster and easier for them to find out the who and what of a situation.

Not only that, but searching someone's name or suspected online usernames can turn up posts in forums, discussions that have been had online, and even online metadata that can reveal location information and more. 

Most private investigators don't just rely on one search engine. They compile information from all of the major search engines as well as some of the lesser-known ones. Additionally, they often use web crawlers to find metadata information and other information.

Private Investigator Databases

Private investigators have access to databases similar to those of the police. They can find all sorts of information, both publicly available and not. These databases only became available and accessible from anywhere with the revolution of online data and storage.

In most cases, these databases are subscription services that your private investigator will pay for as a cost of doing business. However, they are worth the investment because they can provide information about a person's entire digital footprint. This includes voting records, addresses, credit information, and more.

Social Media Accounts

With the vast majority of Americans registered on at least one social media platform, it's no surprise that social media is a go-to for private investigators to obtain information. Many social media users don't fully understand how to lock down their profiles, and even private profiles don't protect you from the visibility of your content in groups or when you're tagged or mentioned by family and friends.

Everything from off-hand comments to pictures of last week's party can serve as information for a private investigator's case. You just have to provide your investigator with the person's first and last name. The more information you can give, the better. It helps to ensure that the PI is, in fact, looking at the right individual.