Frequently Asked Questions

The research begins with the subject and is expanded to secondary and tertiary searches. The results are curated, and the analyst corroborates or links information requested in the scope of the investigation.

The Deep Report is designed to provide a report with an analytical product that summarizes the most relevant information about your subject of interest. It also provides an organized, searchable, and linked report as well as an Analyst Summary. Results will be tagged by the platform as well as by issue characterization.

The Export Report is designed to provide the consumer of the report with a comprehensive preservation of a URL’s metadata/source code and HTML on a secure server. The source code is then used to produce the report of social media profiles and other website content as (CTRL-F) searchable, offline PDF which can be uploaded to many eDiscovery or case management platforms. When viewed as a PDF it also provides an organized report that is bookmarked, searchable, and linked to assist with your review of the results to support your case.

The Export, is a preservation product that captures and quarantines Open Source, Social Media, and web information such as a subject’s websites, pictures, and content, on a secure server, that preserves the metadata/source code and HTML that generate the sites content at a specific point in time. The SMI processes establish the chain of custody that adhere to the rules of evidence.

The source code contains information about the contents, date-time of the capture and other details about the sites, files, or content. The capture of the metadata/source code and HTML become verifiable technical information that authenticates who created the information and when it was created. It also contains other electronic evidence that can be used to authenticate the record.

The Research Bundle combines the Deep Report and Export products. This combined product offers clients three exports, typically Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter; however, it can be any three sites of significance as well. If we do not find these sites, you will only pay for the Deep Report. If other websites are located, you can add them as well for an additional cost.

Requesting a Research Bundle at the time of order allows the analyst to preserve social media sites of interest promptly. This protects the content now, which eliminates the risk of the subject changing privacy settings or deleting accounts as your case progresses.

If we do NOT find three sites of significance belonging to the subject you will not be charged for the export portion of the Research Bundle.

  1. Go to: then log into your account. Your login is your email.
  2. Select “Orders”.
  3. From here you can search for order by SMI Order # or Subject’s Name.
  4. Look to the right side of the screen to the blue text “Download” and select.

Go to: then log into your account. Your login is you email. Look in the blue banner at the top of the screen, select “Exports”. From here you can search for order by SMI Export # or URL. Look to the right side of the screen to the blue text “Download” and select.

The Scope defines the length and the depth of the investigation. It assists the analyst in providing the consumer of the report with targeted results and analytical findings that directly support the users needs. For example, if a request only contains a name and a city the search results will be very broad and difficult to find the type of information that the user is looking for. If in contrast the request contains details about the subject (full name, DOB, address, city, state, etc) and some detail about the case or reason for the request. If the analyst knows that the case involves a lawsuit involving a claim that resulted in a physical injury, to include the date of loss (DOL) the analyst can focus their searching and analysis on those aspects and limit the results that are very general in nature and of little use or are already known.

Bad Scopes: Bad Scopes are scopes that are lacking in detail and do not help analyst target results.

  • ‘Any recent information you have for dates 2016 to present’.
  • ‘Please find anything on Johanna XXXX – relevant time period would be 2014 to present.’
  • ‘All information available’
  • ‘Looking for any social media activity’
  • ‘Background on Plaintiff’

Good Scopes: A good Scope provides the analyst with sufficient detail to direct the research and discovery to provide results that best support the requesters needs.

  • ‘Subject is claiming disability discrimination. She claims she was made fun of in May and June of 2015 by the employer regarding the way she walked. We are interested in anything that addresses her alleged medical condition or the employer’s (Hathaway) response. Also, she was terminated on June 16, 2015 for leaving work with her sister without permission. So we are interested in information around that date as well. Sister is Leasha W.. We, of course, are interested in all other time frames also but the focus is around the above dates.’
  • ‘David G AKA John W caused a serious motor vehicle accident on 11-12-2017 while driving a truck for Hall Automotive Product, Inc. in Philadelphia, PA injuring our clients. It has come to our attention through our research that JOHN W uses the alias DAVID B. Through research conducted, the alias DAVID B has serious criminal charges that were filed against him. Please identify information regarding David B’s or John W’s past criminal history, Social Media accounts, other problems with the law, etc.’
  • ‘We are looking specifically for information surrounding an ATV accident that occurred on March 27, 2017 on a camping trip in California. The ATV was a 2016 Polaris Ranger Crew, owned by Ernie H. Other witnesses/friends were Mike L. and Henry P. The subject was injured and treated at Valley Hospital in Lancaster, California. Alcohol was probably involved as well.’
  • ‘DOL 03/01/2017 approximately 11:15 am. Trip & fall in pothole at place of business, A+ Electronics, Inc. after being dropped off by Alton R. (boyfriend/domestic partner/spouse) resulting in injury to left ankle and right shoulder. Was returning to work after an unrelated medical appointment. Has not returned to work since date/time of incident. Went to Fox Hospital emergency department following fall and was discharged. WC disputing and surgery delayed pending authorization. Please provide social media or web results that verify or refute the injury claims. Also include any history of similar incidents.’

The only portions of a Facebook that can be exported is the public facing details unless the owner of the profile consents to allow access to the private portions.

It is very unlikely that a deleted profile of any platform can be retrieved. That is why it is very important get SMI involved early to preserve sites before the subject alters them.

No, SMI does not use Social Security Numbers as part of any investigation.

Recommended files to attach to a request are as follows:

  • TLO, Accurint report, or other 3rd party data.
  • Claim or Case details.
  • Known pictures of the subject.
  • Any other reports or content that provides the analyst with context or details surrounding the investigation.

While creating a Deep Report Request, add the name and email address of as many collaborators as needed. The new collaborators field is at the top section of the order entry page. Once the order is processing or released, you can go to your Orders page and click on the order you’d like to share.

Step one: Enter your name and work email address. This will allow us to verify that your firm has an account with SMI Aware. Once you are verified, you will be directed to the order landing page.

Step two: To start an order, please select between one of our products — Deep Report (Discovery) or Export (Preservation). Provide the information regarding your order request in the appropriate fields.

Step three: Once you submit your order, you will be prompted to set up a password. This will allow you to access your report once it is released and also to place orders in the future.

Our normal hours of operation are 9:00am to 5:00pm EST, Monday – Friday. During this time we offer phone and email support and can be reached at: 888-299-9921 or We are closed for major holidays including: New Years Day, Memorial Day, July 4th, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas Day.

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