People will say and do the silliest things on social media. There have been cases in recent years of burglars filming their criminal escapades and uploading the footage to social media.
Not everyone is that foolish, but it’s still startling the kind of information you can access on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter – information you would never have obtained through asking questions or that would have taken hours to find.
Most people can’t fully utilise the power of social media, like finding hidden Facebook photos, and there’s much more to it than just typing a person’s name into the search bar.
It’s become so popular, it’s a verb (go Google it).
Most people use Google in its simplest form, but there are many advanced search features that nobody ever uses. Searching using quote marks can help locate particular phases or patterns of text. ‘Site’ searches can focus on particular text or documents within a particular website, while ‘Filetype’ searches, as the name suggests, can help identify words linked with particular types of files.
The modern-day Swiss army knife – the smartphone has replaced a number of tools that investigators used to lug around. It can take time and date-stamped photos, record covert video and audio, scan documents and provide birds-eye views of city streets.
The best thing about a smartphone is that pretty much everyone has one, so if you need to do a bit of discreet recording, nobody will even notice.
OPEN SOURCE RECORDS
Open source records are one of the richest sources of information, and one that most people either don’t think about or dismiss.
Open source records can reveal how much a house was bought for, how long a person has been married, when a person died, who a person lives with…and so much more.