Online Investigation Techniques that Professional Private Investigators Use

If you are wondering what you can do or who you can find to help with an online investigation then look no further.  This article explains some of the simple online techniques that professional private investigators use to track down their targets of investigation.

Some of the key points we will highlight consist of finding a person’s online alias, digging into profiles, pictures and leveraging the internet space to help uncover files and setting up real-time systems to get notifications about a targets online activity.

Data mining is a method that is often used by spam bot’s to guess email addresses but can be a valuable resource for investigating online. People will use nicknames for their online screen names and, more often than not, this screen name will be the same as their email.  An investigator will try sending a test message to this email and if it does not bounce back it is flagged as an email lead.  Links like “forgot password” often time provide pathways for trapping an email address. Have you ever received an email about changing your password? Hmm, if so, someone could be trying to verify your email address.

Reverse image tracking is another tool in the arsenal bag that has been proven effective by professionals.  All that is needed is a person’s name and you can find out what type of websites they visit and how often.  This is done by finding a person’s profile picture on a related site and comparing the picture using a site like to generate an image site wide check.  Often cell phones geo target pictures as well making it fairly easy to find where that person is either located or has traveled.

Picture fishing is a way to gain photos from a target.  This can be done by means of a fictitious profile set up on an online or social media site.  Just simply set up an account.

File search can be one of the most effective methods in retrieving valuable information about a target.  Google offers a special search operator which shows files stored on uncovered servers.  To implement this type of search type the following command in intitle:”index of” “parent directory” Jon Doe.  Jon Doe should be replaced with the alias or name of the person you are looking for.  This technique is known as Advanced Google Search Operator.

Did you know that Google can be set up to alert you when a name of your choice appears in a forum or post and Google will send you an email of their activity?  Simply navigate to and start tracking.

I hope this information is useful for you and will help you on your pursuit of whoever you are looking for.  Try some or all of these techniques and you will find some great results.  Happy hunting.

Todd Redding is a veteran licensed private investigator that specializes in affair discovery, cheating spouse and alimony private investigations. The PI Agency is a 20 year Atlanta, Georgia based private investigation agency that caters to the needs of domestic and civil private investigations throughout Georgia, Alabama and Florida. You don’t have to face this difficult situation alone, please call The PI Agency, 678-316-9374.

Best of all, “Our advice is always free.”