Finding reliable data is becoming more challenging all the time, especially with all the misinformation that abounds online. There are plenty of intelligence collection strategies available, many of which use less-than-legal means, but open-source intelligence (OSINT) remains the number one way to collect personal data, including an OSINT phone number, email address, mailing address, username, and more. Here’s why.
Publicly Accessible and Legal
Probably the main reason why OSINT is preferred over other methods of data collection is that OSINT is not only publicly accessible, but also legal. If someone has put their data on public platforms or websites, it’s fair game to anyone who cares to find it. So, if a company wants to conduct intelligence to conduct a background check on a potential employee, they can do so through OSINT or they can choose another method that might get that company in trouble if their methods are discovered.
Uses Many Sources
With private data collection methods, your results might be restricted to one or two sources, which aren’t going to give you a full picture of the person you’re researching. This is because the private company you use to collect the data may only have access to a couple of sources that provide non-public information, but only to a certain point. OSINT uses many sources to gain intelligence on a person you’re looking into, including social media, news articles, academic papers, and more.
With OSINT, you don’t have to wait for a private third-party collection company to find the information and get it to you. Since publicly accessible information is always available, you’ll get the most current data every time. For example, if someone commits a crime today, but your data collection from a private company only goes through last week, you aren’t going to get the new information without conducting a new search a few weeks down the line. It might be too late to be of value to you.
OSINT is less expensive than other types of intelligence for data collections because it uses publicly available information. You don’t have to help a third-party company pay for specialized equipment or man-hours dedicated to human intelligence. While you may pay for an OSINT service, it will often be much less than what you would pay to have a private third-party conduct intelligence that’s not publicly available. And, the additional data you get from a private third-party might not be any more valuable than what you get through OSINT.
Since the data you receive from OSINT is public, you know that what you’re getting is reliable and easily verifiable. When you get data from a private company, you won’t be able to verify it with publicly accessible information because it’s not available to the public. This is problematic if you’re basing major decisions on the data you receive.
As we’ve seen in recent years, the only valuable information is reliable information. OSINT offers that and many other benefits for companies and individuals who need to find data they can really use for a variety of purposes.