There are many tools a private investigator or security consultant can utilize when working a case. People often think a camera or binoculars would be the most important. However, one of the best tools a private investigator can use is literally in everyone’s pocket…a smartphone. We have more information at our fingertips than ever before. Recognizing some useful tools, Covert Results has compiled a list of the top 12 apps utilized by licensed private investigators and security professionals in 2021.

1.      WhatsApp 

If you travel internationally you’ve probably heard of What’sApp. However, I bet you didn’t think about it being used by private investigators. This app is primarily used for covert communication, but can also be used to send various photos, and even location sharing. Investigators utilize a secure texting app such as this one to exchange information. At times clients want the utmost confidentiality so we will communicate through a secure app to accomplish the goal. 

The group messaging feature can also keep a group of investigators in constant contact regardless of their phone service. Covert Results has also utilized similar apps such as Signal and Threema. Before choosing, do your research on the app you choose. Some apps will self-destruct your text messages, so ensure any pertinent information is in a permanent file!

2.      Facebook and Instagram

People do not realize how often they are online. Facebook can be utilized by seeing something as simple as a like or check-in. Other ways to utilize these apps are the new Story features. People will tag where they are, where they’re going, or who they’re with. Instagram has location tagging with every post. To the average person this may not mean much, but to a private investigator it could be everything. Utilizing apps such as these could truly turn a case around, so don’t forget to check social media as often as possible. 

3.      Dropbox

This app/website can make all the difference when gathering intel. Imagine working on a case and trying to upload the photos that will help a case and not having enough room… Dropbox can help with that! Utilizing this type of storage helps take your business on the road. Since Dropbox is cloud based you can access or information from anywhere. 

4.      Time Stamp Camera

Cloud based camera apps can help with photographic intelligence. Being able to deploy a camera to capture constant surveillance not only cuts down on costs but can enhance your chances of getting more information. 

5.      LinkedIn

There are times when employment information needs to be known. Like utilizing Facebook or Instagram, LinkedIn has an interactive element. You have the ability to like/share/post updates and activity information. However, keep in mind if your subject has a premium subscription it will notify them you are looking at their profile. 

6.      Onx Maps or Landgrid

This app is normally utilized by those doing a land survey but can also help private investigators. An investigator is expected to obey local and state laws. These apps can better show the parameters of a property so the investigator will know if they are committing a trespass. A good investigator obtains all information in a legal manner to better help your case. 

7.      Waze

Although many investigators are familiar with the area they service, a good GPS App can’t hurt. Waze is a good app to utilize when running surveillance or needing to meet with a client. Since they’re paired with Google, active updates are made at all times.

8.      Snapchat 

Although this is seen as a personal App there is a more public version. Snapchat users will utilize the constant GPS of a “Snap Map.” Users can post a story which can be viewed by any person who moves their map to that area. This could help you pinpoint a subject without needing to be close.

9.      Tinder

The best thing about Tinder is the fact it is also location based. There is the option of pursuing the app to find a subject that shouldn’t be utilizing a dating app. You can also exploit the settings by adding in characteristics of the subject you’re looking to find. 

10.  YouTube/TikTok

Although this app can be used to pass time while on surveillance or work, there are much better uses for private investigators. TikTok profiles can tell you a lot about a subject just by watching a few 60 second videos. Imagine the information you can find when your subject posts full length videos to YouTube.

11. Zoom 

Before 2020 it is likely that most have never even heard of Zoom. Now, millions of people rely on this video chat every single day. As private investigators Zoom is another useful tool for several reasons. First, it allows direct, face to face communication with your client, your co-workers, or even the attorney you may be working a case for. At Covert Results we conduct weekly team meetings where the licensed private investigators meet (via Zoom) to discuss weekly activities and share information. There is no better way to learn how to be a better private investigator or security consultant than to hear direct experience shared from a seasoned professional. The convenience of Zoom is likely one of its strongest points, as we can conduct client or team meetings anywhere; anytime. 

12. Marco Polo

Marco Polo is a video chat app that records the message for the intended recipient(s). Covert Results refers to it as the professional version of Snapchat. It basically combines texting, social media, and video chats all in one private, easy to utilize app. Marco Polo does not sell user data for advertising. If someone sends you a video through Marco Polo, it is recorded so they can watch and respond at their leisure. Also, Marco Polo will indicate who has watched the video. Covert Results enjoys this app to send video messages to the team to provide important updates or share an experience where others can learn. 

Covert Results leverages technology to accomplish the goal of gaining intelligence on individuals and sharing confidential information with clients or co-workers. But, never discount the old school approach of “boots on the ground.” Covert Results works hard to gather all the information necessary to execute each work assignment. Although these apps make it easier than ever before, nothing replaces hard work. Technology is ever changing and hiring a private investigator that can keep up with the latest apps while continuing the put in the hard work is what Covert Results strives to do. Let us show you how much information we can dig up by only using the phone in our pocket. 

Covert Results is a private investigations and security company with over 100 years of experience. Our team of highly trained investigators and security experts are well versed in all types of investigations and security matters. We now have two dedicated offices, in Nashville, Tennessee and Clarksville, Tennessee. For questions about private investigations, professional security, handgun training, or consulting please email, call, or visit our website.   615-861-1680