Private investigators cull the web for free tricks that will aid our due diligence research and compiling background profiles of witnesses, insurance claimants, jurors, and an assortment of clients who need to know something about someone or a business. Linkedin, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram have become as fundamental to our investigations as court research, surveillance and interviewing. Some counties and states have opened access to public records by putting them online, making it easier to quickly collect more and more information. The social networking sites enable investigators to find self reported biographies, revealing photographs, personal interests, dates of activities, associates, where they work and take vacations — virtually anything that humans can reveal. At the same time people spill their lives onto the Facebooks of the Internet, they also employ “privacy” features that restrict portions of their disclosures to designated people. And private investigators are paid to legally snoop, so we want to break through those walls.
Another complication for the online information researcher is that the search engines and social network sites are dynamic, and that requires daily immersion to keep current with their functionality. Once, I put together presentation slides on searching Google and the very next day they changed the look of the site. Knowledge and skills can rust that fast. Like with field investigations, intelligence, experience and know-how get us to valuable and unanticipated places that can benefit our cases. So, what does all this have to do with, “View Full 3rd Degree Profiles on LinkedIn for Free?”
I may have stumbled upon a new feature (or glitch), or maybe I never noticed it before, but while preparing my recent PowerPoint presentation, “A Dozen (or so) Search Techniques and Sources You Definitely Don’t Know,” I unlocked a 3rd degree Linkedin profile — not just retrieving the full name but also the full profile. This was on the free access platform. Thinking I had made a mistake, I did the same with another name. That worked too. Let me know if it still does. Here are a series of slides that show the steps I took on Linkedin.