That’s a direct quote from a friend and colleague in Florida, legal investigator Jean Mignolet (, from one of her newsletters a few months ago. I couldn’t agree more. Yes, Google offers probably the most robust search engine out there, but it’s not the only one and it is not an investigation. It fact, you should always consider when and how you use it. We use it here in our investigations, of course, but it’s only one tool in what has become an expansive toolbox in a digital world. Almost all technology companies that you interact with online collect and store information about you, and they can be forced to turn it over to the government. Google is now much more than a search engine; it is one of the largest data collection companies, if not the largest. Do you have a G-mail account? Google technology automatically collects information when you use your gmail. Here at Trace, we now use our domain emails almost exclusively, which are routed through a secure server with encryption capabilities. We use Google for innocuous searching, but when we want to limit our digital footprint in an investigation, we rely on the Firefox browser as well as DuckDuck Go, which does not leave a trail of the web sites you visit. Sorry, Amazon, but I don’t need any more winter shoes.

When you need a thorough investigation conducted using all the tools available, call Trace Investigations at 800-310-8857.