About Me...

I'm an ordinary man who has made his own mistakes in the past and only wants to work toward helping those who otherwise can't help themselves. As a former police officer, I use my knowledge of surveillance techniques to assist people who need someone of my skill sets.

My sole weakness...

... I have personally witnessed the pain and psychological damage caused by child predation. Having witnessed this has softened me and focused my devotion on preventing these attacks before they can happen.

Tailing Suzanna: A Story of Online Vulnerability

Continuing in the vein of my last blog entry, I’d like to share with you a story of a time I was hired by a middle-aged couple to evaluate their daughter’s online vulnerability. Their daughter, “Suzanna,” had recently created profiles on the social networking sites MySpace and Facebook.

Suzanna had made her Facebook profile private, making it inaccessible to non-friends. Her MySpace profile, however, was public. It listed such details as her cell phone number and her ‘top friends,’ a list of eight of her best friends.

I noted that one of Suzanna’s top friends, “Jenny,” had left a comment on Suzanna’s page saying that she would soon be changing her cell phone number upon switching to a new provider. I decided to take advantage of this information by sending a text message to Suzanna’s phone and pretending that I was Jenny.

By mimicking Jenny’s style of writing, I successfully convinced Suzanna that I was Jenny. We agreed to meet at the local mall to hang out and have ice cream that evening. I compiled the information I had gathered and presented it to Suzanna’s parents, who joined me when I went to meet Suzanna.

I, along with her parents, talked to Suzanna about the importance of protecting her personal information online. I demonstrated how easy it was for a potential predator to find her, and Suzanna promptly deleted her MySpace account.

This is just one of many situations in which I have been hired by parents to evaluate the security of their children online. More times than not, the child is easy to track down, meaning that he or she is open to potential predation.

Please, parents, remind your children that when creating profiles on social networking websites, less personal information is better.

Top 5 Things for Teens to Avoid in Social Networking Profiles

1. Your address: This the easiest way for an online predator to find you. Never, ever put your street address in a public profile: it makes you an easy target for a predator.

2. Your home phone number: I've never understood posting your personal phone number for the world to see. Not only will you start getting phone calls from telemarketers at all hours of the day, but it is another easy way for an online predator to find your location. Most home phone numbers in North America can be reverse-traced with a simple search on a website such as Google.com. From there, your street address is just a click away.

3. Your full name: For somebody like John Smith, there's enough similar names in the world that the individual would be hard to find. For the majority of us, this is another way that predators can track you online. Used in combination with seemingly innocuous information on your profile, your name can be used in web searches to determine your school or workplace. Once you’re traced to your hometown, it’s not hard to determine your exact location.

4. Including pictures of yourself on a social networking site may seem okay at first, but they make you easy to identify in person. If a predator has traced you to your hometown, it wouldn’t be hard to find you using your picture as a guide.

5. While your daily schedule may seem to be harmless, it actually allows a predator to find you when you are alone. Including your daily schedule may not give away your location, but used in combination with other information, it can prove to be the difference between being attacked and staying safe.

Glimpse into the life of a PI

Hello and welcome to the personal and professional blog for Michael Surry. That's me, a private investigator who has a passion for his job and the protection of the children of the world. This first blog is an introduction into who I am, what I do, and why I'm blogging.

You know my name is Michael Surry and that I am a Private Investigator. Most people call me Mikey and anyone who is reading this is more than welcome to do the same. I have been a private investigator for 6 years now with no intention of ever focusing on another career path. This is my main love and passion, the other is working to help youth become more proactive against internet-based predators.

I work on a number of projects for my clients who range from individuals to corporations. I've been rather fortunate over the past six years in building my clientel, but I am coming to the realization that making myself and my services available on the internet would be in my best interests. Look for surryinvestigations.com sometime in the near future!

This blog will focus on my professional work and my personal life. I intend to give my readers a glimpse into the life of a PI. Hopefully I can use this blog to reach out to potential clients but more importantly to the youth who make themselves vulnerable to predation through their careless social networking habits.

This is me in a nutshell, like it or not.