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Top 5 Practices for Combatting the Insider Threat

Certified Counterintelligence Threat Analyst – Top 5 Practices for Combatting the Insider Threat

Learn how to create sock puppet accounts

Sockpuppet accounts are essential fake accounts or investigative accounts designed to elicit intelligence and or information.

Joshua McAfee accepted into Forbes Coaches Council

Joshua McAfee, CEO & Founder of the McAfee Institute one of the fastest-growing companies on the Inc. 500 & the premier provider of cyber intelligence and investigative based professional training programs has been accepted into the Forbes Coaches Council, an invitation-only community for leading business and career coaches.

Joshua McAfee joins other Forbes Coaches Council members, who are hand-selected, to become part of a curated network of successful peers and get access to a variety of exclusive benefits and resources, including the opportunity to submit thought leadership articles and short tips on industry-related topics for publishing on Forbes.com.

Forbes Councils combines an innovative, high-touch approach to community management perfected by the team behind Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) with the extensive resources and global reach of Forbes. As a result, Forbes Council members get access to the people, benefits and expertise they need to grow their businesses — and a dedicated member concierge who acts as an extension of their own team, providing personalized one-on-one support.

Joshua McAfee says “I am excited to have been afforded this incredible opportunity to join such an amazing group of the industry’s most elite coaches & mentor with Forbes Coaches Council. It will help us to further our mission in developing the industry’s best leaders within our crime fighting community’s.”

Scott Gerber, founder of Forbes Councils, says, “We are honored to welcome Joshua McAfee into the community. Our mission with Forbes Councils is to curate successful professionals from every industry, creating a vetted, social capital-driven network that helps every member make an even greater impact on the business world.”

About McAfee Institute

McAfee Institute is an eLearning organization that empowers professionals with real-world applicable training to enhance their professional credentials and skill sets. We provide online courses and board certifications in the areas of Cyber Investigations, Intelligence, Cyber Security, eCommerce Fraud, Loss Prevention, Fraud, Cyber Crime, Human Trafficking, Deception Detection & more.

We offer professionals all around the world the ability to learn the topics they are most passionate about all online from their home, office, or anywhere else they want to learn. We are there no matter where, when, or how you want to learn something new.

Our vision is to revolutionize the way professionals learn around the globe; our mission is to empower our students to transform the industry by leading, developing and equipping other leaders, and to build meaningful relationships with other professionals around the globe.

If you have a passion for fighting crime and saving the world from harm, then explore our programs at www.mcafeeinstitute.com

For more information about Forbes Coaches Council, visit https://forbescoachescouncil.com/. To learn more about Forbes Councils, visit forbescouncils.com.

The Importance of Professional Certification

The Importance of Professional Certification

When you pick a doctor or a lawyer to work with, you almost certainly base part of your decision on the credentials that they have, such as the schools they’ve attended and the cases they’ve worked on. After all, you want to make sure that you choose someone who knows what they’re talking about and who has experience in the appropriate domain.

The same applies to intelligence and investigations – the right board certification not only helps you shore up your understanding and training in the field but also provides quantifiable evidence of competence in this challenging and competitive area.

Certifications Give You a Leg Up When Job Hunting

The end goal of a board certification demonstrates to law enforcement agencies and other companies that you have knowledge and experience necessary to be successful in the role. Many hiring managers in these areas use certifications to distinguish the most qualified candidates from the rest of the applicant pool.

Competition for the top intelligence and investigative careers is stiff, and having relevant certifications gives you an advantage over other candidates. In fact, many HR employees explicitly search for McAfee Institute certification keywords when looking for potential hires. Your resume could show that you have decades of experience in intelligence and/or investigations but if you’re missing that key certification, you’ll never know how many headhunters are passing you by.

Certifications Help You in Your Job

Once you’ve been hired, it should quickly become clear why so many organizations are looking for intelligence and or investigative team members with certifications. From counter-intelligence and cyber investigation to e-commerce fraud and retail crime, your certifications pave the way for you to establish yourself as an expert in your area of specialization – and make you a critical asset for your team.

Of course, there’s the matter of your financial compensation as well, and in that respect, your certification adds extra value. In addition, with the rise of cyber intelligence and investigative needs, the value of a certification in this industry has been steadily increasing. Naturally, not all certifications are created equal, and it’s important to ensure the quality and reputation of any certification before you begin.

Certifications Strengthen Your Career

Time to temper your expectations: getting a single board certification isn’t going to immediately propel you into the C-suite. However, displaying certifications on your resume is a signal that you take your job in cyber security and investigation seriously, and that you intend to enhance your knowledge in the field.

Learning new technologies and improving your skills are essential if you want to keep up in the fast-moving world of cyber investigations. If you have limited experience in a particular area of cyber intelligence and security that you wish to pursue, obtaining a certification is a great way to get your foot in the door as well as to find professional connections and networking opportunities.

Final Thoughts

Although in a perfect world your knowledge would be enough to get you a job, for now, certifications are the best solution. You might be the world’s leading expert on a particular topic, but without external proof, such as a certification, you’ll have no way to demonstrate it. Certifications provide an objective measurement of your capabilities and competencies, proving to companies that you have the skills to do the job.

Data retention laws in the United States

What you need to know

Currently, the US does not have any blanket law compelling ISPs to retain customer data, like the EU does. But US ISPs are required to hand over any data they have on customers, including address, credit card information and logs of what websites you’ve been visiting, if they are legally obliged via a court order from US law-enforcement1.

Unregulated data

Individual ISPs are essentially free to keep or delete your data as they see fit, with little regulations in place. Because ISPs are private companies, they’re not obligated to reveal how long they keep customer data. So it’s hard to find out what each ISP’s individual policy on data retention actually is. Some may delete the data after 30 days, some may hold onto it for longer.

Given that ISP customer data has been used in the US to prosecute individuals through the Copyright Alert system, you can be sure that your ISP is tracking you to some extent right now. IP addresses may be anonymous, but because your ISP can link your IP address to the real world address your account is registered at, it’s not difficult for them to find out your identity.

Fourth Amendment doesn’t apply

The Fourth Amendment, which protects Americans from unwarranted searches and seizures, will not protect your personal emails from being spied on. While emails stored on your computer are safe, those stored on a server somewhere are not protected under the Fourth Amendment and not subject to a warrant requirement. In fact, as Digital Due Process points out, the Electronic Communications Privacy Act – the bill that set standards for how law enforcement can access electronic communication data, is incredibly unclear (it was enacted in 1986) and is in dire need of reform2.

Future threats

While the concerted efforts of online privacy advocates and politicians have helped the USA avoid Europe’s draconian data retention laws, the last two years have seen a number of bills introduced that threaten the status quo.

Protecting Children From Internet Pornographers Act has already been approved by the House Judiciary Committee and it won’t be long before it’s debated in the House of Representatives3. Although it faces opposition, if passed the bill would require ISPs to retain all customers’ web-browsing data, address, credit card information and other forms of personal data, for at least one year after they leave. The bill also potentially allows law enforcement agencies to access the data without a warrant.

The other piece of US legislation that could drastically effect online privacy in the US is The Cyber Information Security Protection Act4. CISPA was passed by the House of Representatives and will now be voted on in the Senate. The bill is specifically designed to facilitate the sharing of personal data between private companies and government law enforcement and would be a disaster for online privacy if it passes into law.

Locating Prostitution on Snapchat

Today our search is on how to identify potential prostitution on Snap Chat. Ever since the implementation of snap cash, Google Wallet, and other payment options, more people are buying adult entertainment on snap chat. It’s almost like a live porn hub. It is a pretty simple operation.  There are plenty of ways to search for people that are selling nudes, videos, and chat on snap chat. I started my search on in Instagram to get snap chat names. I used Snapchat contacts as a reference. You can go in and use any one of these you just have to find which ones are the suspicious accounts.PIC1 Then under the photo will be comments of snap chat names. You will not find someone to come right out and say “I’m a prostitute” so therefore you will have to do some investigating.PIC2 All investigations start from somewhere, so this is how I will show you ways to help find a suspicious account. Once I do this, I’m able to go over to snap chat and add these people to my friend’s list. So go into the section add friends and add some people and hopefully you will get lucky on your search.PIC3 Like all investigations, this will take the time to see who is just doing online porn and who is meeting with individuals for sex, selling clothing or other items Sometimes they will also smoke weed and use other drugs too. A lot of these women will have premium accounts that will cost $10 to $50. Every since they made snap cash, it’s easier to pay for services.PIC4 Here is what they offer on premium accounts. Some will offer more services than others. They can provide one on one video time, Pictures and videos or even their used lingerie. You pay through snap cash or google wallet, or you can buy them something of their wishlist or off a retail sit.that they will use/wear in a video.PIC5 Here we have a few woman advertising their premium accounts. Some of these girls will have guys at the scene or be in hotel rooms or at houses. Sometimes they may be in the act with others or have some people watching them. These women tend to appear to be underage or are in fact underage. PIC8PIC7PIC6

Unfortunately, if you do find incriminating evidence and have no warrant, there is no way to know who is a user unless they have it connected to the profile they are using. And without a warrant snap chat will only be able to provide services for an emergency.  Here is a link to the law enforcement guide to Snapchat.  Inside this guide will tell you what you need to issue any help from Snapchat. (https://www.snapchat.com/static_files/lawenforcement.pdf?version=20150604).

So once you get all this, there is very little snap chat services can do if the user you are investigating uses a fake account. A lot of individuals will do this if they are up to illegal activity.

Introduction to Snapchat

Snapchat has become one of the most popular chat applications for young adults and teens all around the world. It has started to become more popular than the Facebook Messenger, due to the unique ability for a post (aka SNAP) to disappear after a given period. Which provides the end user a belief of some anonymity, more so than the Facebook messenger app.

From an investigator’s perspective, it creates a unique challenge to secure digital evidence left by individuals committing criminal acts while operating on the platform.

If this is your first time learning about Snapchap let me tell you a little about it and how to utilize the application.

Released in 2011 gives you the option to add captions drawings and filters to your photos and videos which are known as snaps. There is a time limit to view the snap.

You can set it anywhere from 1 second to 10 seconds. Then it’s gone for good. Anything shared through this app is deleted but like everything online privacy is not guaranteed.

Step 1: Download SnapChat & Create an Account

Snapchat can be downloaded for free on Android and iOS devices. Once you have it installed, open it on your phone. You’ll have the option to log in with an existing account or create a new one.

  1. To create a free account, tap “Sign Up.” After entering your email address, password and birthday, tap the “Sign Up” button.
  1. To create an account, you’re required to give your email address, birthday and create a password.



To sign up for this app, you have to be 13 years of age. If you are not, you will be rerouted to Snapkidz. Which is a kid friendly version of snap chat!

Now if you are older than 13 and creating an account, they will ask you to verify your identity by sharing your mobile— Snapchat makes a point to say that your number will not be shared with other Snapchat users.

Once you have done this, you have the choice to receive your six-digit verification code via SMS or a phone call. Once you have the code, enter it in the “Verification Code” field. As part of the verification process, you may be asked a question like the one below. Once you’ve answered it correctly, you’re ready for the next step.

Step 2: Add contacts to snap chat

  1. Next, there is a screen that says “Find Friends.” Snapchat uses your contacts out of your phone to help you add your friends to allow this tap “OK” when the notification pops up.
  1. Other users on Snapchat, who have your phone number saved in their contacts can find you, too. You have the choice to add all your contacts who are on Snapchat, or add people one at a time by typing in their username or their snap code. Snap code are unique, scannable codes that make adding new Snapchat friends and opening Snapchat content even easier!
  1. “My Friends” is a screen to make see your friends, add friends and search for other Snapchat users. By dragging the screen down or tapping on the three lines located the bottom right corner of the camera screen.
  1. To add friends, tap the person icon with a plus sign in the top-right corner. Now you can see people who have Snapchat from your address book, and can add them by tapping the plus symbol. To find users by username, tap on the magnifying glass. To see who added you to their friend list, tap the person icon with a plus sign next to it.

pic2.pngStep 3: Set up your personal profile

  1. By tapping on the red square on the bottom right corner of your camera screen, Then, tap the gear icon in the top-right corner.
  2. You can update your personal information, choose who can send you snaps and view your Stories (we will explain this later) And you can turn off the mobile phone feature if you don’t want your friends to find you that way.
  3. Under Additional Services, you will see a tab called “Manage.” You’ll see there are several bonus features that you can enable. In this section, you can enable filters, front-facing flash, power save mode and special text.




Step 4: Time for snaps

Snapchat can activate your phone’s camera; it’s easy to use. If you need to adjust the focus of the camera, tap anywhere on the screen. Tap the camera icon in the top right-hand corner to switch from rear camera to front camera, and if you need the flash, all you have to do is tap the lightning symbol at the top-left corner to turn on the flash.

  1. The circle at the bottom of the screen is to take the photo. To record a video, hold the circle at the bottom of the screen. Videos can only be up to 10 seconds long.pic4
  2. There is a pencil icon in the top-right corner to use the drawing tool. You can pick a color by adjusting the slider.
  1. You can doodle on your snaps with the pencil too. To doodle, you have to use your finger to draw on the photo. If you make a mistake, simply tap the arrow at the top left the screen (by the pencil) to undo any mistakes.
  1. Snapchat allows you to add captions. When your recipient opens the snap, this caption will appear in a bar on top of the photo or video. All you have to do is tap on the screen after you have taken the picture or video to add a caption.
  1. Want to add things like time, temperature or location to your snap? Make sure you’ve enabled the filter feature in your setting; all you do is swipe your finger left or right to preview each filter.

You can choose how long you want your anyone to view your snap. Remember the max limit is ten seconds to adjust the time limit, tap the stopwatch icon at the bottom-left corner and scroll up or down.

To save your image or video before sending it, tap the downward-pointing arrow at the bottom of the screen. Snapchat can download the photo to your photo album if you hit the tap in the lower left-hand corner (it is right by the timer). You cannot save a Snap after you send it.

To use features like filters and “Our Story” (discussed later), the app requires access to your location. By turning on filters, you are giving Snapchat permission to access your location.

Step 5: Send your snap

  1. If you are ready to send that snap to your favorite person all you have to do is tap the arrow in the bottom right-hand corner. Your friend list will appear, and you can select that special person to send it to. There is no limit as to how many people you can send a snap too, choose whomever you would like and hit send by tapping the arrow in the bottom-right corner.
  1. Once that special person has opened your snap, the triangle (for photos) or square (for videos) icon next to your friend’s name will not be filled in. A filled-in icon means your snap has been sent but hasn’t been open yet.
  1. So, what happens to a snap after it’s sent? Well, Snapchat’s privacy policy states, “once all recipients have viewed a snap, we automatically delete the snap from our servers and our services are programmed to delete the snap from the Snapchat app on the recipients’ devices.”
  1. There is also a replay feature, which lets you replay one snap that was sent to you in the last 24 hours. The downfall, you can only use replay once every 24 hours, and it will only allow you to replay the snap you last viewed.

Step 6: View snaps sent to you.


  1. Your Friends can send you snaps too. If you want to view them, go to the camera screen, and you’ll see a number on the bottom-left corner of the screen in a red box. This number shows how many unopened snaps you have.
  1. If there is a filled-in red icon next to the user’s name, you haven’t opened that snap yet. An empty square or triangle means you already viewed the snap.
  1. You’ll see the timer in the top-right corner, which shows how long you can view the snap. When the timer ends, the snap is gone permanently (unless you use the replay feature, explained above).
  1. Warning — if you take a screenshot of your friend’s snap (the same way you would take a screenshot of anything on your phone), he or she will receive a notification. This is the same if someone screenshots yours too.

Step 7: Send Stories


  1. Stories can be photos or videos. The difference is that all of your friends can see your story. Stories only last for 24 hours and then are deleted. They also can be replayed as many times as you or your friends want to view them.
  1. To make a Story, take the photo or video and proceed to the “Send to…” tab. Check off the circle next to “My Story.” You also have the option to choose which friends you want to receive your Story individually. To make a story, hit and hold the circle button and you will begin a ten-second video. Tap the rectangle icon with a plus sign located on the bottom of your screen. Tap “Add to Your Story.” Now remember it will exist on your feed for 24 hours; unless you decide to delete it first. To delete the snap from your Story, go to your “My Friends” page and tap on the gear icon next to your Story. Tap “Delete.”
  1. Another way to make a story is to hit and hold the circle button and you will begin a ten-second video. Tap the rectangle icon with a plus sign located on the bottom of your screen. Tap “Add to Your Story.” Now remember it will exist on your feed for 24 hours. Unless you decide to delete it first. To delete the snap from your Story, go to your “My Friends” page and tap on the gear icon next to your Story. Tap “Delete.”
  1. If you want to view any of your friend’s stories all you have to do at the main screen is slide it to the left and the stories will load, and you can view them. Remember they can tell how many people have seen their story. You can too by going to the story page and at the very top where it says my story click on the three dots at the top right-hand side now at the bottom it will have an eye if you click into this it will show you who all has looked at your story.

Step 9: You can have live chats.

Snapchat can be more than sending snaps and Stories. You can also have the real-time face to face chats.

  1. To start a chat, visit your Snapchat inbox and swipe right on a friend’s name that you would like to chat with. All you have to do is tap the camera button to began your face to face chat.pic7
  2. Once you leave the chat screen, all messages between you and your friend will be cleared. If you want to save your message, you can either take screenshots of it or tap the conversation to save it. When you tap on the messages, the font will change and will be highlighted in red, which means that you have saved the conversation.

Step 10: What is a Snapchat Score

Your Snapchat score is a special equation combining the number of Snaps you’ve sent and received, Stories you’ve posted, and other factors.

  1. To view your score, go to the main page All you have to do is slide the top of the screen down, and it will bring your score to the screen Your score shows your username and then how many snaps taken and| received. Or hit the white ghost at the top of the page and it will bring you to the main this page as well.pic8

In conclusion, Snapchat is a unique platform for individuals wishing to communication and share information that is not left on the platform for others to find, for all to see years from now. From an investigator’s perspective, Snapchat can be a challenging experience for any cyber investigator to secure digital evidence.

The next blog in this series will discuss ways for cyber investigators to seek out criminal acts on the platform, how to identify the individual committing the act, and how to secure digital evidence left behind to aid you in your criminal investigation.

How to Investigate Prostitutes on Backpage

Searching for prostitutes on backpage is relatively simple. You don’t even have to type anything into the search bar.  The main page has it already listed. There is an option for adults, you can see in the screen shot below.

Photo 1
To began a search for prostitution, start inside the escort tab. A page will pop up, letting you know that there may be nudity on this platform. Click the “I Agree” button to continue. Photo2

Right away, there is a post on the right-hand column about a lady saying she is back in Peoria and ready to play. This is something that may be suspicious activity, open up her blog/page and investigate further.photo 3

You can tell she is selling favors, even though she may not come out and say it. “I absOlUteLy lOve being limitlessly explOred… EvErYwHeRe!! EnjOy me (as I eagerly drain you of every last drop of your ‘energy’) while you experience all my right moves (with just the perfect rhythm:)” that is pretty self-explanatory. She also lists a phone number. With that information, we can use that to find out other information about her. She also has pictures up to show you what she looks like.  These photos could be used in TinEye reverse image search to see who all could be using these photos.Photo 4

Let’s see what type of other information we can find on her. Open another tab for google search and insert her phone number and see what results will appear. She is on a companionship site and also gives you her name, and other information, such as other escort sites she is on and other cities she used as an escort.Photo 5

If you chose to go a step further, you could call the number listed, to see who would answer.  This would help to determine if it is her “Shirley” or if she has a handler or “pimp.”  So this has the potential to turn into more than what you would believe. With some footwork, you could find a pimp with many girls and possibly uncover a prostitution ring.

That concludes our search, I hope you enjoyed this blog.

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