How to use Open Source Intelligence (Osint)

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This article offers our thoughts on how to use Open Source Intelligence (Osint), what OSINT is, how to use it and understand what can you find with it.

What is OSINT?

It may sound obvious, but if you begin without this understanding, all you will get is lots of information. Probably too much information. Like Competitive Intelligence, it is essential to define what you are looking for, generally — the topics of tour search and investigation criteria. Then drill down by specifying well thought out questions.

Open and closed

Osint does have its limitations as it encourages the collection of masses of data. All of which needs to be analysed collated validated and verified. Your collection efforts will be swamped if you are not careful. And you won’t be able to see the wood for the trees. Also, it can be incredibly boring too. Looking through pages and pages of information requires patience, superb concentration, and a never give up attitude. Obviously, if someone is trying to hide something, then they are hardly going to make it easy for you. Osint sources vary in quality and reliability. And depends on many things including geographical location, the language it’s written in and the platform which holds it.

How to use OSINT

  • Secondly, define a set of questions you need answering
  • Then understand where you will find the information you are looking for
  • Collect the relevant information using search engines, databases and tools. We will soon have a database of Osint sources
  • Verify what you find
  • Collate the data into appropriate piles
  • Analyse the information you find
  • Determine if you answered the questions
  • The, report the information
  • Finally, review the project and determine if you need to collect more information

OSINT can cover everything, but in terms of Due Diligence, the following subjects are standard requirements:

  • Name, address and other basic details
  • Career development
  • Email and phone
  • Associated addresses
  • Social media
  • Media checks
  • Credit checks
  • Compliance and sanctions
  • Political exposure
  • Land Registry
  • Property valuation
  • Aircraft and boat ownership
  • Data leaks
  • Patient search
  • National and international directorships
  • Offshore company officer searches
  • Current and previous litigation
  • Bankruptcy and Insolvency checks
  • County court judgements
  • Deep web search


About Octopus Intelligence

We understand we live in an increasingly uncertain, competitive and ever-shifting world. And what you need is an active real-world business development strategy.

The UK based Competitive Analysis consultants with a global client base. Offering Competitive intelligence-based growth-focused actions. To answer the what and the how for the now and the next.

So we help you beat competitors, increase sales, be disruptive, enter new markets and invest with more certainty. As Competitor Analysis and Market Intelligence consultants, we offer Strategic Intelligence. Competitive Intelligence and background checking.

We are Octopus the global Competitive Intelligence service company.

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We help you beat your competitors, increase revenue, protect equity investments, reduce uncertainty and risk with Competitive Intelligence & Due Diligence

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