The job of a private detective and social networks

We live in a world where much of the reality goes through the Internet filter before reaching people. The presence of the internet is so intense in our daily life, to the extent where we now have television news quoting what people said on the Internet, instead of networks being the place where people comment on what it has been said on TV.

Web 2.0, the Internet of social networking, has an intimate and continuous presence in the personal, business and professional relationships. That is why for private detectives, whether in Madrid or in any large city in Spain (and the world), activity, presence and interactions of other individuals on social networks have become an object of investigation, and more and more inquiries are done through social networks in the daily work of private investigations.

The importance of social networks in the work of private investigators

Since the research done through the social networks has become corner points of private investigations as more and more people, companies and institutions jump on the bandwagon of the revolution of social networks. And this is because on these social platforms people provide information they do not provide anywhere else, such as the information about their daily activities and hobbies, the information about the places where they eat, travel, exercise, etc. People also add information about their employment history, their relationships with others, etc. When it comes to private investigators, this information can be priceless.

But it is also due to the immense and exponential growth of social networks that the search on social networks is not as easy as it sounds.

Social networks have an undeniable impact on the current daily life


Simply finding the profile of someone in a particular social network can be a fairly complex task. You can get to spend hours finding the right profile for a person named “María López” who lives in Madrid. In addition, most social networks do not require a real name for a person to create an account on that social network, so there is a great possibility to find many accounts with pseudonyms or nicknames. What is true is that most people use the same pseudonym in different social networks, which can facilitate the work of finding the right profile a bit. Maybe people who have a very public online profile including photos, links to personal pages, etc., have their personal name on the social account with a photo included, but there are people who are more secretive when it comes to these data.

A private detective who gradually has specialized in private investigation in social networks can start the search with only the name of the person to investigate, their email address, a photograph or address, but the more data the detective has to begin with the better. Many times it turns out that the little things that detective knows about the person who is under the investigation, either because the client was able to provide them or because they were obtained in a conventional search, can make research on social networks more agile and yield faster and more concrete results.

In general, we can say that there are private detectives specially dedicated to investigations in social networks, but this has also become an everyday tool for every detective that can provide valuable information on various types of reports and cases that may occur in their daily work.

The techniques detective can use to investigate on social networks

Besides Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, there are many other networks that should also be considered, full of labeled pictures that can be a goldmine for a good, diligent detective. Although you might believe there is a ton of data that could be found on social networks, there is also much false information. However, there are a number of tools that are quite useful for private detectives when conducting an investigation through social networks.

  1. Facebook Search

Obviously, if we talk about social networks we first think of Facebook, the ubiquitous network of current daily life. Lucky for private detectives, explanation of the privacy policy is long, unclear and tedious to read for the average user of this network, so there are empty “holes” and private detectives can seek and find things that are believed to be private and inaccessible to a stranger. For example, the graph search is a tool to find information more easily. An experienced investigator can almost always find the profile of the person that is under the investigation.

  1. Tools

As mentioned, many people choose not to use their real name on social networks. For example, we may be looking for a person named “Juan Domínguez” but on Facebook that person is called “The Lord of the District”. How to find him then? This is where you can use the tools that private detectives use. Human beings are creatures of habit and it is something that private detectives always have in mind, inside or outside the network.

Other times, detectives can perform a search on social networks with an email address. Although it does not always work, sometimes it is enough for an experienced detective to find only one of the networks used by the person investigating, and they can start developing an extensive investigation.

Yes, there are useful tools as we have listed, but in fact what is most useful to a private detective is joining various social networks, learning the way they function and the way people interact there, because each one works differently. Once in possession of this knowledge, one has to work hard to find all the information that the person or persons have shared on social networks where they participate as active users.

Abandon classical techniques to dive into social media?

It is important to specify that online research and social networks are more than just looking someone up on Facebook or Twitter. Firstly, the search must be done personally, with staff trained in the use of social networks and the Internet. It may be used in cases of personal compensation, work or personal injury, legal or civil lawsuits, disputes over child custody, etc., but the use of different types of software is not enough. You need to analyze in detail the information obtained ethically and legally.

That is, a real private investigator must evaluate, discern, sort and prioritize the information found, contrasting with the information collected in a more traditional way, thus making a dossier of that person with photos, videos and documents, and not just screenshots.

In addition, when thinking about social networks, we do not talk only about Facebook or Twitter. There are many social networking websites.

There are millions of websites, blogs, networks and platforms in which information is shared, and discussions and exchanges between people are made. A deep understanding not only of technology but also of the way in which you can obtain information using the Internet legally and ethically is necessary to conduct a successful online private investigation. That is why you should be a professional who perform balancing work online with more traditional techniques.

Of course, research in social networks does not replace a traditional research. It is a tool that aids in the work of any private detective, in Madrid (as it is the case with Monopol) or anywhere in the world.

Cases in which it is very useful to conduct a private investigation in social networks

There are many examples of investigations on the social networks that can be useful in disciplinary, criminal or civil actions. In schools with cases of bullying, it has been widely used to prevent serious problems or for clarifying responsibilities. The most common reasons for using a private investigation on social networks can be:

  1. Harassment of any kind
  2. Identify fraud and theft
  3. Investigation of anti-pedophile
  4. Investigations of gathering information for a trial
  5. Investigation to detect violations of company policy in particular
  6. Investigation on intellectual property theft
  7. Search for missing persons

Finally, we could say that investigation on social network is a powerful tool that assists in the daily work of a private investigator, mostly due to the ubiquity and the use of this kind of virtual platforms by overall society, but by no reason can this be done automatically and it does not replace the meticulous and rigorous work of a private detective. However, the situation itself leads us to consider whether we should be more carefully when reading the privacy policy of each of the social networks we join… Have you ever read the privacy policy in depth?