The 10 Keys of OSINT Research in Executive Protection

In continuing my series about open source intelligence (OSINT) in executive protection, I have written "The 10 Keys of OSINT Research." These rules include the most important themes I have learned in my self-study of OSINT research and analysis

Attribution: I give credit to Michael Bazzell for heavily influencing my self study of OSINT research and analysis. I took 10 themes that I walked away with from his book, “OSINT Techniques,” and synthesized them here. I hope these are as helpful to you as they are to me.

The 10 Keys of OSINT Research in Executive Protection

1. Do not use premium (paid) services until all free options have been exhausted.

2. Every OSINT researcher must proactively attack vulnerabilities in their own privacy and security while conducting online research. At the most basic level, they should use a VPN at all times.

3. Never use a real social network profile during any investigation because the target will be notified of your interest eventually.

4. If the OSINT researcher can start their investigation with just one piece of information, they prefer to start with the target’s email address. This is the most valuable, and it will lead to the quickest results.

5. Active internet users typically use the same user name across many sites.

6. Anytime the OSINT researcher finds content that will be used in court, they should immediately archive the entire site because it may be taken off the internet at any time

7. Searching for information at the source, such as (rather than, will usually provide more accurate and updated content than any outside website that aggregates the same content.

8. Every digital photo contains metadata.

9. If the owner of a website uses analytics to monitor other websites, the analytics number is most likely the same on all their sites.

10. Websites are constantly changing and the techniques for collecting open-source information from them are impacted as a result.

Want to learn more?

Previous OSINT Webinar Topics
    •    Developing a Systematic & Timely Framework
    •    Closed Social Media Accounts
    •    OSINT Investigation Fundamentals
    •    Maintaining Digital Privacy & Investigation Integrity
    •    Value of Digital Images & Metadata
    •    And More...


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About the EP Nexus Blog

The EP Nexus executive protection blog, is a comprehensive resource for security professionals involved in executive protection, protective intelligence, threat assessment, and related fields.

Launched in March of 2016 as a resource for executive protection professionals, command center gurus, and close protection know-it-alls, EP Nexus is quickly becoming a resource for those seeking to quench their thirst for executive protection reading.

The most popular section of the blog is Executive Protection HacksEP Hacks is a series in which we address complex topics (one topic per issue) in a convenient collection of tools & writings. I am actively collaborating with industry leaders to produce future issues. If you're interested in taking an active approach in moving your industry into the future, contact me below.

Outside of EP Hacks, I explore the following topics in writings, tutorials, and webinars: online tools for executive protection professionals, open source intelligence investigations (OSINT), threat assessment, protective intelligence, travel security, and more.

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