Investigate Their Social Media

How to check your kids Social Media is safe

If private detective Sherlock Holmes had social media, he would have been able to investigate and solve mysteries twice as fast

Social media allows individuals to find people, by searching for names, data and accessing information. Nearly everyone today has some form of social media account. Social media allows individuals to connect and maintain relationships that otherwise may not have been possible. Jennifer Goldbeck, author of the book Introduction to social media investigation posits, “People can use social media to build up and portray their online identity – sharing everything to major life events to what they ate for breakfast this morning. All that sharing and interaction leaves behind a ling complicated informative trail about a person’s personality, motivations, friends, activities, patterns or behaviour and actions. That makes social media a powerful tool for investigators”.

Investigations on social media take place due to the fact that people share an array of information online. This can help investigators piece together sources of material in order to search for someone.

Individuals display information such as:

  • Demographic information
  • Lists of friends and family
  • Work colleagues
  • Posts indicating where a person was and when
  • Individual thoughts, feeling and ideas

Who makes use of online investigations and why?

  • Law enforcement and lawyers may engage in online investigations in order to gather as much information about a person as possible
  • Journalists may also resort to online investigating in order to examine different sources for reporting and write-ups
  • Businesses look up potential employees that they are considering hiring in order to see their character and ethic
  • Concerned parents may also check up on their children to see what activities they are engaging in online

Apart from investigating for personal informative details, businesses may also investigate in order to see what products their customers would like to buy or see in the future. Gigi DeVault, author of the article Netnography: obtaining social media insight, states, “Social media networking communities offer many opportunities for participants to influence and inform one another about products, services, and brands”.

It can be noted that social networking services are increasingly being used to gather information about people and their lifestyles. It is crucial to be aware of this and not to update any information online that you do not want anyone else to know or see.