Welcome!

Everyone's looking for something on the Internet.  You know it's out there, but how do you find it?  That's why this site was created.  If there's a way to find what you're looking for it'll be posted here--eventually.

The Internet Investigator's Toolkit is a list of resources (both free and paid) that can be used in online research of individuals, companies, government agencies, etc. The purpose of IIT is to provide a single location for finding search, research, and information portals. While many paid services will provide much of this available information more quickly and concisely, the fact that they are paid services puts them outside the reach of some. And, quite frankly, these paid services cannot guarantee the accuracy or timeliness of their data.

The Internet (including the so-called hidden- or deep-web) already provides a plethora of open-source information on just about everyone--like it or not. Whether you're doing a pre-emptive vanity search to check your own background, investigating a perspective employer/employee, or searching for a long-lost relative you'll find an amazing amount of tools available here.

This site is not intended to be a replacement for a private investigator or an attorney, nor should it be used for any illegal purposes (pursuant to the use agreements of the sites linked here).

Please note that if you find any errors, changes, or glaring omissions on this site I would appreciate an e-mail at Cyber.Researcher@gmail.com. Your input is important and I strongly believe that the community can make IIT a more useful resource for everyone.

Yours in Search,


P.S. Please note that I am only just beginning to post the current list of resources and I appreciate your patience. Feel free to let me know your favorite resources using the address above.

C.R.

Google Hacks - The Application

So you've spent some time scouring the web, looking for everything Johnny Long has to say about Google hacking, but if only there were an easier way...now there is. Kinda. GoogleHacks is an application for Mac, Linux, and the PC that streamlines some of your Google searches. It's free and can be downloaded from the Google code site at: http://code.google.com/p/googlehacks/

Granted, this app does not incorporate every Google hack out there (what app could), but it's a start for some of the more basic, file-type searches you might make. I did notice that the Windows version attempts to install a browser toolbar along with the basic install, but you can easily uncheck that option if your unsure about it.

- CyberRes

Google Search Basics

It goes without saying these days that when it comes to search, Google is your best friend. There are plenty of other search tools available (hey, this entire site is devoted to many of them), but Google should always be your starting point.

And if Google is your best friend, then The Google Guide (by Nancy Blachman) is Google's best friend. There is no better straightforward and easy introduction into the inner-workings of Google.

Here are just a few other recommended Google-related sites to consider:

  • Google Labs - This is where you can get hot-off-the-press beta tools that may just blow your socks off. The Google elves are constantly slaving away to bring you and I amazing new things. You owe to them (and yourself) to check it out.
  • Google Products - The entire gamut of Google "stuff" is found here. Some of these tools are for personal use and not necessarily related to Internet search, however there are a few which contain specific information that may be useful investigative tools (e.g. Google Finance, Google Alerts, Google Maps, etc.).
  • Google Cheat Sheet - While Google has their own cheat sheet available, I prefer the one by Nancy Blachman. Both provide great reminders of some of the tips and tricks that will refine your search.
  • Google Hacking - Once you're ready to move beyond the basics, it's time to "hack" Google. No, you won't get in trouble with the law, these things aren't illegal, but they are amazing tricks that can coax well hidden data using Google's vast repository. Johnny Long does a great job of archiving these gems and if you get a chance to purchase his book or hear him speak take advantage of the opportunity.

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News, Links & Articles - Updated 10/19/2007

This list will be updated on occasion to highlight various news items of interest, special links or articles.

Here are the lastest news, links & articles of interest:

  • Internet for Investigations - John Pyrik's site with links and tools specifically related to financial, fraud, business, and person searches. This site was original inspired by Mr. Pyrik's presentations.
  • Teaching Internet Research Skills - Presentation by Genie Tyburski from VirtualChase.com. This presentation (as well as the main site) include a lot of material on person search and the invisible web.
  • SearchEngineWatch.com - Anything and everything you ever wanted to know about search engines.
  • Snopes.com - Snopes.com bills itself as the "urban legends reference site" and it seldom fails to satisfy. If you want to double-check that forward from Aunt Martha for accuracy, or get the whole story on Mr. Rogers military service, this is the place to start.