When you think of private detectives and technology many of us may think of James Bond and all the cool gadgets and tricks that he has up his sleeves. In the real world, it’s a little bit different.
Private Investigators don’t break into buildings or climb down walls to break into an underground lair. Instead, the majority of their job is aided by technology to recover the information they need to collect data for their clients.
GPS Tracking and bugging devices.
The law will be different from country to country but for the majority of people, you won’t simply be able to bug someone and listen to their private conversations. However, with that said. If you suspect your partner of cheating on you and you own your home or your car then you are allowed to put security measures in place which could provide you with the proof that you need to catch them. The cost of hiring a private eye isn’t too expensive so it may be worth it if you suspect somethign isn’t right.
Private investigators can also be hired for counter-surveillance measures too where they scan your home, car or workplace for surveillance bugs. This is more common in corporate environments, but it does happen in relationships too.
GPS tracking is useful when you want to catch someone out where they tell you they are in one place but you know they are in another because you can follow the GPS tracker on your mobile phone or computer.
Keyloggers on your computer
Installing a keylogger on a computer you don’t own is illegal, but installing a keylogger on your computer and then catching someone being unfaithful is allowed. A keylogger is a piece of software that can be used to record every keystroke made on a computer. This information is then sent to an email address of your choice and can reveal all kinds of data such as hidden social media accounts, emails, passwords and anything else that may be typed on a computer.
Keyloggers are a great way of seeing what others are using your computer for and can reveal secrets that they may want to keep hidden from you.
Cell phone tracking
Cell phone tracking is available for private investigators if they have the budget to pay for the software to do it. Depending on your country this could be highly illegal but there is software that exists to do this.
Private investigators in the past would have to follow a person in a car or on foot and staying hidden was an art that many investigators found difficult. Surveillance drones have now gotten rid of that problem and allow private investigators to follow a target without them even knowing they are there.
Drones do have a small battery life and drones that can follow a person high enough not to get spotted are expensive but it is an option for a private investigator with enough of a budget.
Digital Cameras and other recording devices.
While digital cameras aren’t as sexy as hidden bugs or flying drones they are one of the most important tools a private detective may have in their locker. Digital cameras help detectives record their surveillance and with memory cards being cheap it means that private detectives can have plenty of backups on them if they need to switch cards or if they get into a tricky situation where they need to back up the data they can do quickly.
We spoke to a private investigator in the UK who had this to say “technology over the years has advanced so much, electronic surveillance is getting so small that you can never really be sure that you aren’t in a room with multiple bugs.”
“We have seen listening devices as small as the nib of a pencil and I’m sure they will get smaller too. Technology enables us to do our job well but it can be scary to see what others may use the technology for.