3 Online Search Techniques To Aid An Investigation
It’s true that a lot of private investigation work needs to be conducted out and about, whether it’s knocking on doors to speak to potential witnesses or trailing a target. However, thanks to the genius of the internet, a lot of PI work still happens indoors – in fact, you’d probably be amazed how much a private investigator can find in just a few quick Google searches. Here are three effective private investigation search techniques that can still be used even during quarantine.
1. Username searches
This technique is pretty simple as far as private investigation methods go, but it’s true that many people use the same username, or a similar username, for lots of different websites. By searching for iterations of a username from a forum or social media site on Google or other sites, you might be able to find another account by the same user. Websites like Instant Username (https://instantusername.com/#/) offer a quick way to search for profiles on some of the biggest sites, but this is by no means comprehensive.
2. File search
It’s possible to conduct a file search through Google which can show results of files and images which have been uploaded to the web but no longer have a permanent home online, such as files stored in uncovered servers. This can be a long shot, but it can reveal some interesting information if files like CVs come up. You can try conducting a file search by searching ‘intitle:”index of” “parent directory”’ followed by the name of the person you’re looking for. These kinds of forgotten breadcrumbs are really what private investigation is all about.
3. Reverse image search
This is a useful way to find images of a person online if you don’t have a name or if they might be using an alias. Websites like TinEye (www.tineye.com) can be used to search for a profile picture which may turn up around the web. It’s also possible to find out where a photo was taken by looking up the EXIF data stored with a photo; this will give you the GPS coordinates of the setting. While many sites delete this information, both Photobucket and Twitter do not.
These are really just a small selection of the online tools that can aid in any serious private investigation. For advice about hiring a private investigator or to know more about what we do, please contact us or else call us on 0800 002 9858 | 07730439156