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Nov 6, 2019

How to Use Social Media To Find A Missing Person

Social media is more than a way to stay in touch with friends and family. 

It can also help you to find friends and family who go missing.

 As with any form of search though, if you are going to be conducting your own investigation using social media, there are several rules you will need to follow:

 -       Never engage outside the limits of the law

-       Safety should always be your primary concern

-       Never get in the way of professionals working the case

Below are 4 ways you can conduct an amateur investigation in assisting to help locate a missing individual:

#1 - Focus On Potential Leads

 Finding missing persons online requires focus and skill. Social media searches will also create leads for you to follow up on. These should take priority.

 This will include getting in contact with any persons who may have information about the missing individual. Whether that was their last known location or other individuals they may have been in contact with. Ultimately, your best leads will be those with information relevant to your search.

 After the main leads have been explored, you should follow up on all leads, regardless of how small of a chance there may be

 It can be difficult to keep track of all the information you may receive, so it is essential to stay as organised as possible from the start. Consider streamlining and centralising information in a spreadsheet or project management system.

 You may want to also consider using Google Maps as a way to keep track of all the areas in discussion by pinning exact locations. This will allow for the overall storyline to stay focused in spatial perspective.

 Struggling to stay on top of the information and leads?
Chat to a professional team for support.

 #2 - Organise And Conduct A Local Ground Search

 If you believe that the missing individual may be in a specific location or vicinity, it is important to act fast and organise a local ground search.

 There are many reasons people go missing. While some are voluntary, others may be due to the need for help, explains psychological experts, who note “research has shown that mental illness, and the inability to cope with life, are one of the driving factors behind missing persons. For this reason, conducting a physical search to help locate someone who may be in need of help is key.”

#3 - Track Smartphones

 If you are looking for possible ways of finding a missing person through the use of their phone, there are a few techniques.

 It is important to take care with these methods as you do not want to take the law directly into your hands. If you require professional help, it’s always best to speak to the experts.

 If you do feel as though tracking the location of a phone will help in your search, here are a few tips broken down by smartphone type.

-       iPhone

 There are basically two unique ways of searching for an individual who uses an iPhone.

 a). Using The "Find My Phone" Feature To Track The iPhone

 If the individual you are tracking was carrying an iPhone and they have this particular app setup it is possible to locate them through the use of the iCloud as long as you or someone else happens to know their Apple login information.

 b). Tracking An iPhone Through The "Find My Friends" App

 If the individual has the “Find My Friends” app activated and they have given permission for an individual to find and see their location, you may be able to locate their phone and hopefully them as well.

 -       Android

 a). Using The “Find My Device” App For Android

 Google features an excellent app that allows users to easily and quickly track their phones. This particular app has been downloaded over 50 million times, meaning more likelihood of your missing person having it.

 In order to track the phone, you will have to navigate to the Google’s Find Android page and log in with their account that is associated with that phone.

#4 - Investigate Their Social Media Accounts

 There are two very specific ways in which you can search for a missing individual using social media.

 You should start by investigating a missing person's social media posts. This is how you can begin finding a missing person online through the use of their latest social media postings.

 First off, find all of the missing individuals social media accounts including:

 -       Twitter

-       Facebook

-       Instagram

-       Snapchat

-       and any others

 Keep in mind that not every account they own will be listed under their real name, so talk with friends and family to find out if you are missing any essential accounts.

 Read through all recent posts and see if you are able to seek out any clues as to where they may have been going or who they were hanging around with.

 If you come across a post that does not make sense, talk with the individuals friends for an explanation, as it may be important.

 Another way is to search through tags of the missing individual such as on Facebook. It is important that you are looking for any potential clues in any post. If there are pictures posted, is it possible to tell when the picture was taken?

 These images may also provide key clues about their financial motivations, explains financial experts, “deliberate disappearances may reflect financial trouble. Social media may show an increase in luxury living to suggest a strained financial situation.”

 Also look for the location of where the images may have been taken. Most social media accounts will display the location of the image.

 In other cases, it can be possible to determine where someone posted simply by the context of their post.

 You can also search Instagram images through location. If the missing person was seen at a specific location, you may be able to see if they were caught on camera through an Instagram search. Begin by starting with contacting the individual who took the photo and start working down contacting other people who may have been tagged in the photo and see if you are able to find out any valuable information.

 Are you searching for a missing persons? Chat to the experienced team at Missing Persons Australia and get the experienced, technical help you need.  1300 553 788

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Author Bio: Angelica Hermann