Social media dangers

What you post on Facebook or elsewhere can come back to bite you. Not just in the face palm I cant believe I posted that type but the How did that guy find out where I live or my phone number or where and when I can be attacked, or kidnapped, or worse? (Now, I really don’t want the people I am looking for to take this advice, it makes my work easier when they do these things.)

Do you have a classic valuable car you posted a picture of with the license plate number showing?

Did you post a picture of the front of your house with the address numbers showing?

When you go eat do you click the cute little thing that checks you in to that place?

Does your profile show what city and state you are from?

Do you post about where you work? Even just the company name? Do you post pictures with a company vehicle in the background or with you wearing a company shirt, jacket or uniform?

While you are on vacation do you post pictures of the great place you and your family are staying?

That is more than enough info for a thief or worse to target you and your stuff.

With the license plate number in most states the owners name and address, the vin number, maybe the color, engine size, even some options are out there.

With the house number and the city you can Google and find all the complete addresses with that number in that city (there are surprisingly few in many cases) and then go to Google street view or Zillow and match the pictures of your house to those on the web. They will know your complete address, perhaps even pictures of the inside of the house.

Oh and look you are on vacation in Cancun posting pictures of you para sailing today and youre going snorkeling tomorrow (guess your home is probably empty today and tomorrow)garyfloats . Or every Thursday you go out to eat at Goodtime Charlies with all your buds.

You work at Gooddeal mortgage loans well there is only one of those near your home, a quick call to them during the day can verify you are there even if the receptionist says Oh Im sorry but employees cant take private calls, I know you are probably there and can probably guess what time to wait outside to catch you leaving work.

So just from what many people post on Social media someone with bad intentions can find you, rob your home, steal your car, kidnap you or your family members, stalk you, harass you, target you in many ways. All because you do what so many others do every day.

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Spousal Infidelity? What can you do?

Ok, you’ve hired an investigator and have the proof, can you salvage the marriage? Maybe. Here is a link to a site with some insight into that.

The answer is not always to hire a lawyer. Is the cheating terminal, it depends of you, your spouse and all the details of your lives together. Perhaps your church has different rules for divorce than the state does? Are there kids, will the kids be better off if you stay together or if you split? Are you able to move forward in the marriage knowing the truth? Will you and your spouse be able to live with the consequences of the infidelity and move forward in the marriage if the truth is squarely on the table? Has all the truth come out?

Many times finding the truth is a small part. But, can you deal with the situation at all without knowing the truth?

Protecting your data

From TechRepublic article linked below
Image From TechRepublic article linked below

I realize that since my work involves sometimes trying to find information that people try to hide this could be counter productive,  frankly, there are good reasons to protect your data from other people. Things like financial records, private pictures, ideas for a business you plan to start, company trade secrets, lots of things that just should not be out in plain sight.

Storing things on your computer or phone or other device can leave it available to hackers or even just someone who randomly gets physical access to the device. Anti virus software, pass codes on the device, other things mean little if the info is stored as a simple file, like a word document or photo or video.

And sending a file by email or on a thumb drive or DVD is also risky. Unless the file is encrypted.

Enter some free software that can encrypt your file,  called GPG – it comes as part of Linux operating systems and is available for Windows as GPG4win.  It relates back to what was originally called PGP which was Pretty Good Privacy. It uses a two key system – a public key and a private key.  There are phone aps that use PGP – these are not free but worth looking at.

You can use it to make an encrypted copy of a file that without your key (a long series of random characters – letters, numbers and symbols) the file is useless.

If you need someone to send you something – emailed or otherwise – they will need the free program on their end and your public key. The public key encrypts only – it will not change the encrypted file back, so it doesn’t matter who happens to get the file or the key, only your private key can unlock it.

Now that’s not to say that the NSA or someone with unlimited time on massive computers could not get the key, but as long as you are not a criminal or terrorist it is very doubtful anyone would be able to get your data.

As to storing the keys for your encrypted files, try one of these password managers in this article .


You Can’t Always Get what You Want

Yes, that’s a line from an old song, but there is a real message. When people come to an investigator, what they want and what they get may not match. And sometimes that is because what they want and what they need are not the same.

For instance, sometimes someone wants evidence that their spouse or lover or… is cheating. Sometimes they do not get what they want simply because there is no evidence to be gotten.  And that may be because the spouse (or whatever) is not cheating. Sometimes they want the name of the person that the affair involves, but that person’s name and address and phone number ect. are not  “fair game”. The “injured spouse (or whatever) has no claim against the “other”.  The only legitimate injury would be by the cheating “spouse”.

Perhaps they want to find a lost relative? That is what they want but is it what they need, is it what they will get? Do they have a right to that person’s information? If the missing person is an adult and not mentally or medically at risk or contractually obligated or under a court order to provide the information then the want may well go un met. Perhaps the “missing” person is a birth parent who gave up a child in an adoption, State law protects that parent from having to be contacted about the birth and adoption. The best that can be hoped for is that if the investigator can indeed find the person, they might write a letter informing them that there is someone who believes they may be related but giving that possible parent they absolute option to not respond, or to respond that they want no contact or that the possible relative is mistaken, etc. In such a case the investigator would not be giving any identification to either party without an express release from each. That same would go for someone who simply went missing. There may have disappeared from a bad situation, perhaps abuse or harassment or just not wanting to be involved any more. Again, the information would not be given. It is possible that the “missing” person may authorize the investigator to tell their “relative” that they are “alive and well” or happy or whatever.

Even if they do get what they want, sometimes that information will not be what they need. For instance, if they are getting a divorce, evidence that the spouse is cheating is really not relevant. Unless it can be shown that the spouse is associating with a criminal or drug abuser when the minor children are in the home, there is not really any “need” there. That is not to say their want is invalid necessarily, perhaps in order to have the church annul the marriage or just to give peace of mind that the divorce is what they need.

It is important to consider the want, the need and the get.

Police Blotter

Used to be you could get the local newspaper and look at the recent police calls in your town. Well those printed papers are scarce and the police call info they may have is weeks old when it is printed.

Try this site called Raidsonline. It will show you on a map what calls were made in what ever area you select map1 and the time frame you want to see.

Each different call is a different icon and clicking it gives an approximate address (privacy) and date and time and a brief description.

The added benefits are you don’t get newspaper ink on your fingers and you don’t have to dispose of the paper when you are done.

If you want to listen real time, try one of the several police scanner apps on your smart phone or PC. they don’t give you the undercover calls but most Police, Fire and EMS calls come through. As with the over the air radios, it takes some listening and a jargon cheat sheet to understand.

But these should satisfy your crime snooper curiosity from your phone or PC.