How Does a Private Investigator Use the Internet to Track Down a Person?

The internet is deep and enriched with information from the billions of users that utilize it every living second of the day.

There is no doubt that the medium has proven useful in many ways including giving us access to goods and services from different parts of the world and providing us critical information.

In the same way, the internet proves useful in different legal battles as well. Let’s say a fraudulent employee or a cheating partner has gone missing and you are unable to track down their whereabouts.

This is where a private investigator in Greenville can help you. Private investigators can use the internet to track down the person of interest for you.

Ways to Track Down a Person Through the Internet

Private investigators employ various methods to track someone using the Internet.

1. Social Media

About 80% of all American internet users use Facebook to join communities, interact with personal and professional groups, and share updates regarding their life.

This is exactly why social media is the first place for an experienced private investigator to look for when trying to track down a person of interest.

A private investigator will perform a detailed online investigation on the major social media platforms where most of the information is already public.

Should the person of interest be smart enough to have set their privacy settings high, there are options available to legally obtain information from online contacts like friends and family.

2. Search Engines

An online user’s activity always leaves traces. Every time you sign up for a membership, fill up a survey or make an online payment, you leave a trace of your activity.

Private investigators are trained and equipped with the tools and techniques to put these pieces of information together and form a complete picture of the activity.

Although Google is the most used search engine out there, a private investigator will use a combination of other search engines as well. This means that they will perform the same searches on engines like AOL, Yahoo, Amazon, Bing, and Duck Duck Go as well.

They might also search on metasearch engines like WebCrawler and Dogpile. Metasearch engines push data to other search engines so they’re a great way to perform wider and deeper searches.

3. Data Fusion

Most if not all information on the internet is stored in databases. These databases are available to private investigators. They contain crucial public and non-public records that an investigator can use to locate and track someone.

Most of these databases require paid entry but they contain crucial information for individuals like their Identity number, social security number, landline number, address, DMV records, relationship records, and also their property ownership records.

Private investigators have access to all this information and they are trained with the legal knowledge that allows them safely extract all the necessary information from these databases.

Is Social Media Evidence Usable in Court?

The short answer is yes, social media evidence can be used in a court of law as evidence. There are some ethical considerations that need to be taken into account while gathering the information.

For example, any public information on these platforms can be used as evidence, but if unethical and unlawful measures like hacking were used to obtain information, then the evidence will not be considered in the court of law.

Following are some extra measures that a professional private investigator can take to ensure the admissibility of evidence:

  • Ensuring that the data or evidence captured online is done in a way that if it’s saved or printed, it appears the same as it does online.
  • Getting an affidavit to verify the authenticity of the web capturing technology used to capture the evidence
  • Making sure they have all the supporting technology like the metadata including IP address and URLs to ensure the authenticity of the evidence.

Private investigators have licensed software that captures all the metadata that serves as supporting evidence when capturing evidence online.

How Can Upstate Private Investigators Help You?

Upstate Private Investigators use proper online forensics to gather evidence that supports a wide range of legal battles including divorce and child custody cases.

We have 25 years of experience in private investigation. Our team is available 24/7 to handle your queries and provide you with updates regarding your case.

Our trained and licensed private investigator will conduct an initial meeting with you and determine your needs. They will then create a plan based on the nature of the evidence that you require to make your case.

Our investigators conduct the tracking activity while remaining in the constraints of law to ensure all evidence gathered is admissible in court.

Call us to discuss your case today.



Reid Latham
Easy to talk with and does a great job! Very discreet and a pleasure to work with. They know what to do and how to do and when to do it.
Jesse McGeE
10 out of 10 great people and very professional. 5 stars all the way.
James Martin
From my experience of knowing the Hawkins family. If you want professional service and dependability try Upstate Private Investigators.