Occasionally, I give presentations to analysts and investigators in the insurance industry regarding how they can use social media websites like Facebook and Twitter during their investigations. Special Investigation Units (SIU’s) are increasingly turning to social media websites during their research as discussed in this recent Los Angeles Times article.
During a recent presentation, an attendee asked a great question: As an SIU investigator or analyst, how do you stay up to date on the latest technology and developments in social media? It’s an excellent question for several reasons. First, the changes occur so fast and so frequently, simply keeping up with the changes is a huge challenge. Second, there is no single source for this information so the onus is on the user to aggregate this information.
Here are some methods and resources to help the SIU analyst or investigator stay up to date with online investigative research:
- Subscribe to newsletters that focus on this topic. Two excellent recommendations are the OSINT Newsletter from Toddington International and the Data2Know newsletter from Hetherington Group.
- Leverage your memberships in industry associations that offer training or materials for online investigative research. Groups like NICB, IASIU, IALEIA, ACFE and others all offer these types of material.
- Setup Google Alerts to search for new content on your topic of interest. For example, you might search for +”social media” +”insurance fraud”
- Setup feeds for the blogs or content you review frequently. You can setup RSS feeds to automatically deliver updates to your favorite blogs or Google Alerts so all your updates come to one place. Use a feed reader like the one built into Microsoft Outlook, GoogleReader or FeedDemon to review and manage all your RSS feeds.
- Join LinkedIn groups that focus on investigative research. Groups like Investigative Databases, Global Insurance Fraud Network, and SIU Professionals often have discussions on these topics. And you can ask questions on their discussion group pages and share ideas with your colleagues.
- Follow me on Twitter and on the sascom voices blog. I post frequently in both places about insurance fraud technology.
This is by no means an exhaustive list and I am always eager to learn from others. If you have some helpful tips to share, please post them in the comments.