The Very Social Network
In this day and age pretty much everything can be found online. As a society, we can shop, we can manage our finances, we can find our next partner and research our family history all on the internet. Never has the internet been so influential on global society.
According to the Office of National Statistics, in 2016, 89% of households in Great Britain (23.7 million) had internet access. Furthermore, mobile or smartphones are used to access the internet by 71% of adults in Great Britain…… all these people accessing and sharing information about their daily lives all day, every day wherever they are and what ever they are doing.
As a society, we seem to have a compelling need to tell the online world about everything we do, everywhere we go and everything that may or may not happen to us. In a lot of cases, this information is shared with carefree abandon as to who can see it. Whilst this fact might intrigue, frustrate or even annoy some people, it is actually exceptionally useful to organisations such as RGI Solutions who are tasked by our clients with validating information, investigating alleged incidents and establishing the truth of a matter.
Information is the life blood of any investigation and the first step in any investigation is to review the information that is initially available. We do this to both validate it and build on it with the objective of formulating an investigation action plan in line with our instructions – and the most effective way to do this is by interrogating the many social media networks in existence across the internet.
Whilst you may expect most social media users to have applied privacy settings to limit what can be viewed publicly, it never ceases to surprise how many users either don't set their information to private or they attempt to and get it wrong.
From the smallest piece of information, we are regularly able to locate individuals or businesses, establish connections between individuals, obtain new contact details, find evidence of exaggerated injuries, uncover previous convictions to name but a few. Such investigations are similar to jigsaw puzzles with many pieces scattered across the internet- our role is to locate the pieces and fit them together in an attempt to uncover the full picture.
As professional and ethical investigators, we will only ever access and rely on information which is in the public domain. Knowing how to access this information, interrogate it and turn it into both intelligence and evidence is a skill and as such, we ensure that our analysts have the skill sets, the experience, the training and the tools to ensure that our internet and social media investigations are both compliant and effective in both quality and cost.