What is Private Investigation Software?

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  • Written By: Laura M. Sands
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 23 January 2020
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Private investigation software describes different computer programs that can be used by trained detectives and private investigators. Among its many other uses, detectives often rely on such software to uncover evidence of criminal activity, locate missing persons and perform background searches. Many schools that offer detective training also use private investigation software for instructional purposes.

Due to the fact that technology changes rapidly, detectives and other investigators must consistently seek to learn how to use the tools available to them. Private investigation software helps private investigators detect fraud, search for missing persons and investigate a variety of other crimes. Software programs can allow access to private databases, as well as lead detectives to covertly monitor possible criminal activity.

It is not unusual for a private investigator to take specialized courses or attend workshops and conferences in an attempt to learn more about the latest private investigation software options. Many times such informative and instructional meetings are offered by manufacturers and vendors of private investigation software, while at other times detectives may find this instruction offered through special private investigation trade associations and similar groups. Staying abreast of the latest technology, however, equips private investigators to more fully participate in an often dangerous and highly competitive industry.


Some of the more common uses for private investigation software include locating sexual offenders, finding unpublished landline and mobile telephone numbers, covertly monitoring telephone, computer and Internet usage, and using specialized software to assist in missing person investigations. While largely used for fraud investigation and to uncover other criminal activity, investigation software is also used for non-criminal activity, as well. Examples of such uses may include recovering deleted computer data for a business, performing employee background checks, and locating lost, stolen or previously unclaimed property.

Private investigation software can also be useful in organizing the day-to-day operations of an investigative agency. For instance, software can be used for case management activities, accounting, interoffice communication and to automate other professional business functions. While software is often used by detectives and others who are assisting in an investigation, bookkeepers, administrative assistants and reception staff may also be required to use private investigation software while working for a security or private investigation firm. Software options vary and may include free software that can be shared among several users, software that is purchased and downloaded over the Internet or software that must be physically installed on a computer for future access.


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