New Publications Offer Guidance in Online Investigations

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SEARCH is offering two new publications that provide targeted guidance to law enforcement investigators who conduct online or digital investigations:

  • A Law Enforcement Investigator's Guide to Basic Digital Officer Safety offers tips and techniques that investigators can use to ensure their investigations do not compromise their identity or investigative activities. It covers topics such as protecting an investigator's IP address or originating webpage; employing safe investigative techniques on social networking websites; and preventing cell phones from being tracked and home networks from being exposed.
  • The SEARCH Social Networking Custom Search Engine offers instructions in how to use this new search engine tool, which helps streamline the process of investigating social networking sites like MySpace and Facebook. The search engine also enables investigators to search multiple social networking web pages for a specific keyword in a single instance.

Both guides are available upon request, but their distribution is limited to law enforcement personnel. (Click on each document link to display an online request form.)

"SEARCH has prepared these guides specifically to help law enforcement investigate digital crime and social networking sites effectively and efficiently," said SEARCH Training Services Director Tim Lott. "These types of investigations present their own unique issues and challenges. The techniques and tools offered in these guides help investigators successfully tackle these challenges."

The guides were prepared by SEARCH Training Services staff under funding from the U.S. Department of Justice Bureau of Justice Assistance.

SEARCH offers a wide range of other high-tech crime investigative guides. For questions on any publications developed by SEARCH Training Services staff, please email