Investigating Via Social Media (Online Self-Study)

CPE Credit: 2 
Course Level: Overview
Prerequisite: None


Social media allows individuals, businesses and organizations to communicate across the world on the internet. In the process, social media sites expose massive amount of information about their users. This information can be very useful to fraud examiners in virtually any type of investigation. 

In this course, you will learn the types of investigations in which social media can be a helpful resource, which sites are beneficial to fraud examiners, and how to use them in the collection of information or evidence. This course also explores the history of social media, and the challenges and obstacles involved in using social media for investigations.

Key Takeaways: 

  • Strategies for planning and executing your social media investigation
  • Tips for identifying which social media site will likely provide the most benefit for your investigation type
  • Tips for avoiding ethical and legal pitfalls when conducting a social media investigation
  • Statistics on usage and adoption of social media sites
  • Tools you can use to enhance your social media investigation

Preview Course

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CPE Information:

You Will Learn How To:

  • Categorize the types of information potentially available on social media sites
  • Identify which sites are most useful for different investigations
  • Recognize challenges, obstacles and considerations associated with using social media in investigations
  • Determine what types of information available on social media will have a positive impact on an investigation
  • Identify successful strategies for searching and monitoring social media
  • Recognize the ethics and legalities of investigating via social media





Table of Contents:

  • Lesson 1: Information Available on Social Media
  • Lesson 2: When to Investigate Via Social Media
  • Lesson 3: Social Media Sites
  • Lesson 4: How to Investigate Via Social Media
  • Lesson 5: Challenges and Obstacles
  • Lesson 6: Ethical and Legal Issues
  • Lesson 7: Conclusion

ACFE Online Self-Study Courses Feature:

24/7 access to courses through your Internet browser

Save time and quickly earn CPE credits with instant access, grading and printable certificate

The flexibility to start or stop a course and pick-up right where you left off

No additional shipping fees

Learn more about accessing your online self-study course.

Learn more about about online self-study courses and their features.

System Requirements:

Internet access: High-speed connection recommended

Free Adobe Flash Player

Speakers required for video sound

Online Self-Study Troubleshooting Guide:

Problem: When I attempt to access my courses from “My Online Learning,” the course never launches, or I receive an error message saying my pop-up blocker needs to be turned off.

Solution: Your web browser must be configured to allow pop-ups in order to access ACFE Self-Study courses. Your browser may prompt you to allow pop-ups, or you may have to allow them manually. You may either allow them for all sites, or allow them just for the current site.

For information on how to manage your pop-up blocker settings in a specific browser, click the link below that corresponds to the browser you are using:

Internet Explorer
Google Chrome

Also note that many toolbars, such as the Google Toolbar and Yahoo! include pop-up blockers as well. If you have one or more toolbars installed on your browser with built-in pop-up blockers, you must configure them to allow pop-ups.

Problem: When I click on a course from “My Online Learning,” I am presented with a login page, but my username and password won't allow me to log in.

Solution: You do not have to log in a second time to access your online self-study. You most likely reached the login page because you clicked the link labeled “Click Here” as shown below:

Online SS Image Absorb Error

Do not click that link; instead, allow your browser to automatically open the eLearning window on its own, which should happen after a few seconds. This will log you in automatically so that you can access your online courses.

Problem: I receive the following error when I try to load a different lesson with a course:

SS Online API Error

Solution: This occurs in Internet Explorer when trying to load a different lesson without closing the current lesson. This error can be avoided two different ways:

Always close the current lesson before going to another one. Always click the Close Window button (usually the red “X” in the upper right corner) of the current lesson before clicking on another lesson.

Use a different browser. This error seems to only occur in Internet Explorer, so using Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome should resolve the issue (see below for links to download either of these browsers).

Other Troubleshooting Tips: If you encounter other errors, such as courses freezing or crashing, we recommend taking the following action:

Try a different browser. ACFE online self-study courses are designed to run on all modern web browsers, but if you encounter a problem that is not solved using one of the suggestions above, you can try using a different web browser to see if it eliminates the problem. We have most frequently seen where using Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome has resolved an issue that was seen in Internet Explorer.

Mozilla Firefox can be downloaded here
Google Chrome can be downloaded here

Make sure you are running the latest version of Flash. Go to to see what version of Flash you are running, and then compare that to the table on that page to see what the latest version is for your operating system/browser combination. If you are not running the newest version, you should upgrade and see if that resolves the problem.