How Private Investigators Use Social Media To Conduct Online Investigations

The online world is quite similar to the digital world in certain aspects: you can make a name for yourself online, cause trouble, commit crimes, get noticed by the police, and get monitored by detectives to catch you in the act.

Social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn contain large amounts of data. This is the reason why online search can also bring up the most accurate information. For this reason, it is crucial for users to get familiar with the advanced search options that are available on some of the big-name social media networks.


Being the most popular social media site in the world, Facebook also has the most extensive social search in the entire Internet. It allows people to make queries based on over 40 different dimensions, making it function like its own search engine. It combines the big data that is then compiled on its population of a billion users. It’s also an ideal place to start an online investigation.

The search criteria on Facebook comprehensively covers a lot of a person’s basic information. This would include name, gender, and date of birth. Facebook also enables search by dimensions related to the following:

  • Education
  • Work
  • Location
  • Position
  • Concentration

In addition, likes and interests are also searchable. They can range from what the subject likes, the groups they belong, the apps that they used, and the people they are following.

If other Facebook users recognize the name of anyone that the target has a relationship with, like their friends, or their family, private investigators can also use this information in their online search. For example, users can search based on the name of the target’s spouse, parents, siblings or children.

Previously, users were able to prevent their Facebook profiles from being visible in searches by adjusting their privacy settings. However, this feature is no longer available. The team at Facebook has just announced that users can no longer hide their profile.


LinkedIn is another viable avenue for conducting an online investigation, depending on the information that has been provided about a subject. The information that you use can then be cross-referenced from the information found on Facebook.

LinkedIn offers a variety of different search categories that are made available to everyone to search on. These categories would include a user’s current location, company, industry, previous companies, and the school they attended. Upgrading to a premium LinkedIn account can enable you to access additional categories like LinkedIn groups joined, interests, and company size.

LinkedIn also allows members to see other users who have viewed their profile. Users who are conducting online investigations need to be wary of this feature, especially if their investigation is covert.

Hiring an experienced Private Investigator

Conducting an online private investigation without much experience can have negative results. Not knowing exactly what you are doing can cause you more harm than good. So to help you with your research, you should consider hiring a private investigator to do the job for you. A private investigator that is experienced with online private investigation is knowledgeable with accessing private database that can be used to online and offline. The techniques that they use may involve making contact and reaching out to the subject and conducting covert surveillance.

Source by Alexandra Debray

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