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How Do Private Investigators use Digital Forensics for Social Apps?

Posted by David Colvin on October 23, 2023
David Colvin

Digital forensics software serves as the backbone of contemporary investigative work. Today, private investigators find themselves using digital forensics software daily to investigate and analyze social media activity. They gather digital evidence from social networking platforms to use private investigations. Social media posts are used as supplemental evidence in court to establish foundation and character, support alibis, and provide valuable information relevant to court cases [1].  How Private Investigators Use Digital Forensics Software to Investigate and Analyze Social Media Activity-1

Statistics show that 59.9 percent of the world's population are social media users [2]. With so many users sharing their lives and information online, it can be a major source of evidence for private investigators.

Several platforms serve as sources of information, such as Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, Reddit, Pinterest, and TikTok. 

Digital evidence that private investigators uncover on social media can help in a variety of cases…

  • Court Cases- Verification of alibis and supporting evidence obtained from social media assists in criminal and civil cases. 

  • Custody Battles-They can gather information to either support a parent’s case in court or discredit a parent’s custody claim. Evidence of custody agreement violations can be obtained. Proof of neglect or illegal activities and child endangerment may also be unveiled. 

  • Missing Persons- Metadata from a person's posts or photos can be analyzed to uncover recent locations and connections. 

  • Background check/Employment- The character of a candidate can be established. Investigators may take a look at aspects such as their lifestyle and associations. They can even reveal inconsistencies relevant to their investigation. 

Private investigators use digital forensics software to investigate social media and conduct…

  • Data Collection- They can extract relevant data, including posts, images, comments, messages, and interactions, from social media platforms. Accounts are preserved by ensuring collected data is intact and the chain of custody is followed.

  • Metadata Analysis- Metadata information embedded within an image or post that reveals a timestamp of when the photo was taken, the location, rights information, etc. Metadata, such as timestamps and geolocation data, are examined to establish the context and sequence of events surrounding social media activity. 

  • Image Analysis and Text Analysis - Visual and textual content undergoes advanced analysis techniques, revealing hidden meanings and potential connections. This holds immense value in investigations, as it provides a window into an individual's feelings, attitudes, and motivations behind their online interactions.

  • Content Profiling- Investigators create digital profiles of individuals based on their online behavior, preferences, and interactions, enabling a deeper understanding of their motives and intentions.

Equipping Private Investigators with Cutting-Edge Technology for Unraveling Clues

While seasoned investigators possess a formidable grasp of data extraction methods and a deep understanding of what type of content will be admissible in court, their capabilities are further amplified when paired with the right tools.

Mobile Device Investigator (MDI) helps private investigators conduct mobile forensics and delve deep into a target’s digital footprints. MDI can leverage the power of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) to quickly and easily collect evidence from iOS and Android phones and tablets. From call logs and text messages to app data and artifact collection, MDI can provide insights into an individual's movements, communications, and activities. 

Its versatility is valuable in various cases, from criminal investigations where alibis need to be verified to civil proceedings where digital evidence establishes facts. MDI proves its value as a private investigator’s best weapon in social media forensic investigations. Learn more about MDI’s role in social media forensics.

Download the Social Media White Paper

Topics: United Kingdom, Mobile Device Forensics, Social Media Discovery, Mobile Forensics

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