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What Type of Surveillance Equipment Do Private Investigators Use?

To get to the bottom of a case, Private Investigators are required to conduct surveillance in a variety of situations. There are multiple technology-based devices that are designed to assist Private Investigators with their essential duties. Modern surveillance devices are extremely advanced and give credibility to evidence gathered during important cases. If you’re a Private Investigator who is interested in advancing your skills and the technology you use, take a look at these types of commonly used surveillance equipment.

Cell Phones and Mobile Devices

The most basic equipment Private Investigators should carry is cell phones and mobile devices such as tablets. Modern mobile devices like iPhones and Android tablets can be used to source information quickly, manage case notes, and take photos. Cell phones also allow Private Investigators to maintain ongoing communication with their co-workers and clients. Furthermore, there are times when a Private Investigator might find themselves in a difficult situation and need to use their cell phone to call for assistance or alert local authorities. In addition, cell phones can capture video and photos in covert situations.

Private Investigator Apps

Thanks to advanced technology, there’s a myriad of digital apps that Private Investigators can use to aid their cases. Common apps every Private Investigator uses include the camera app, maps, and docs. Other popular apps used by Private Investigators include:

  • Public Records database search apps
  • Waze or mapping applications
  • Hidden Camera Detector App
  • High definition camera app and video capabilities
  • Speech to text applications for field notes
  • Pre-texting apps for phone calls and pre-investigative work

These apps and more help make Private Investigators more efficient and accurate in their work. Before downloading any app to use in an investigation, Private Investigators should research it to make sure it’s within the law.

Computers and Computer Software

Although mobile devices have a lot to offer Private Investigators, a traditional computer or laptop is still an essential piece of surveillance equipment. Private Investigators regularly use computers for virtual case management. On any laptop or desktop computer used by a Private Investigator, recommended software includes:

  • Word document management for report writing 
  • Case Management software () to organize your workload
  • Emails and calendar system to track your cases and efficiently schedule
  • Internet browser bookmarked with your most commonly searched sites
  • Database Investigative sites for background investigations
  • Social media sites readily available for pre-investigative searching and quick updating
  • VPN and site security software to protect your client’s information
  • Anti-virus software 

I don’t want to include the above name branded companies as there are several products out there and we don’t want to show support to one over the other.

Learn More About Surveillance Training Offered By NITA

The National Investigative Training Academy, Inc. (NITA) provides comprehensive online training programs for Private Investigators in a variety of subjects including surveillance. All courses offered by NITA are designed to offer a convenient and flexible method for achieving investigative career goals. We are committed to providing the best resources and techniques available for Private Investigators through our training programs. If you have any questions about this course or would like to find out more about our State-and Board-approved, pre-licensing training or continuing education opportunities, contact us today at 1-800-730-NITA (6482) or email us.

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