The Internet is a huge repository of data that can be an extremely valuable tool for analysts, researchers and investigators. Whether you are handling AML due diligence, compliance, fraud control or even cyber security itself, good online investigation skills and techniques now form an essential part of your job.
The Deep Web
Did you know that the 6.9 billion indexed web pages available on the Internet only represent a fraction, possibly not more than 10%, of the entire searchable Web? The Deep Web contains a truly vast store of additional data that is public in nature but not indexed. Using deep web search tools and techniques, you can mine many of these additional sources, adding tremendous value to your work.
The Dark Web
Some users of the web employ a range of tricks to remain hidden from view. You need to understand how this is done, how indexing robots like the ones used by Google or Yahoo work and how they can be fooled, what the limitations of searching can be and how you can also limit your own online footprint and conceal the fact that you are searching at all.
The Archived Web
Web content can be edited or deleted at a moment's notice but sites such as The Internet Archive allow you to travel back in time and recover old versions of web pages, sometimes many years later. Knowing how to do this effectively is another key investigative skill.
The Social Web
The modern Web (Web 2.0) is a place in which linking and communication have come to dominate online activity and no modern investigation is complete without analysis of public social content, be it social networking, photo and video searches, reverse image searches, and blog, forum or IRC channel analysis. Your knowledge of the rules that apply to investigators, but also of the advanced techniques you might be allowed to use to analyse some social data, will form yet another tool in your armoury of investigation techniques.
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