How to find a profile to investigate?

The first thing to do when investigating someone on social media is to find the account that belongs to that person. This can be done in a number of different ways, but we can identify at least 5 pivot points that will help us find the social media accounts that belong to the individual.

1. Name

A person's name is a good starting point, as it will usually be a Facebook or LinkedIn account name. However, it is also the first personal identifier that people avoid using or disclosing if they don't want to be found.

2. Email addresses and phone numbers

These are good starting points because they are usually only shared between accounts, so individuals are connected to each other in some way. Therefore, if two accounts on different platforms share the same phone number or email address, it means there is a link between them. The problem with these data points is that they are usually not easily searchable (Skype is a notable exception) and do not show up in the profile of the person of interest.

3. Aliases

Aliases, also known as usernames or pseudonyms, are often reused on different social media platforms. The advantage of this data is that it is very easy to search: any social media platform with usernames allows you to search for users with a specific alias, as this is often the core concept of the platform - to find people and make friends with them.

The main problem with this is that aliases are as good as unique: it can be assumed that two accounts on different platforms share a fairly specific username, such as "Mary45411", which is likely to be operated by the same person. But even then, further investigation is needed to confirm this connection. If the account has a more generic username, such as "WhiteSnow", it may be difficult to find the account on another platform belonging to the same person based solely on an alias.

4. Profile picture

Profile pictures fall into the same category as aliases, which means that with any luck, a reverse image search from pictures found in a profile may only take you to an account run by the same person. However, it could also be that two different people think the identified image looks good on their profile.

It's also much more difficult to search accounts using images as a starting point because you have to rely on a reverse image search engine, which is not usually a feature supported by social media platforms. The only advantage of profile images is that not everyone knows they can be used as a pivot point. As a result, they tend to reuse them more often than aliases.

5. Addresses and biographies

Addresses and biographies are probably the most difficult pivot points to utilize. Few people reveal their physical address on social media. Platforms that capture online information (such as Pipl) are more likely to allow investigators to extract information from such messages. On the other hand, biographies should always be looked at carefully, as some people use their biographies to link their social media accounts.

銆怰esources銆戔棌The 27 most popular AI Tools in 2023
銆怰esources銆戔棌The Achilles heel of AI startups: no shortage of money, but a lack of training data
【Open Source Intelligence】●10 core professional competencies for intelligence analysts
銆怤etwork Security銆戔棌9 popular malicious Chrome extensions
【Dark Web】●5 Awesome Dark Web Links
銆怤ews銆戔棌Access control giant hit by ransom attack, NATO, Alibaba, Thales and others affected
【News】●AI-generated fake image of Pentagon explosion goes viral on Twitter