Most social networking websites allow users to build web pages, communications online, share works, share photographs and express opinions. Sites like Facebook, Myspace, Orkut, LinkedIn, Habbo, and many other social networking sites are constantly increasing membership and becoming more popular. Where people network, predators will find victims. In addition, such sites provide opportunities for online infidelity due to the anonymous and discreet nature of these sites. It is easy to hide information from others by logging into password protected pages and keeping your online name a secret.
There are many examples of investigations in social networks that have led to disciplinary, criminal or civil actions. Schools have so far been in the forefront of this method of investigations. Students and faculty have been caught in alcohol or drug related scandals resulting in loss of employment, expulsion and more based on pictures and postings found on these types of sites. However, with the information, conversations, photos, etc. that are prevalent on these sites investigators can obtain all sorts of evidence for a wide variety of case types.
Typical reasons for social networking investigations: