Colleen Collins, female private investigators, female private eye, female spying, privacy issues, Edward Snowden

Colleen Collins’ Life as a Female Private Investigator

“As an experienced private detective… Colleen Collins is the perfect person to offer a glimpse into the lives of real female P.I.s”—Kim Green, managing editor of Pursuit Magazine

Collins co-owned a private investigation firm in Denver for over a decade. She has taken on a wide range of cases from online stalking to homicides, and is an award-winning author who’s written 22 novels.

She wrote Secrets of a Real-Life Female Private Eye. Her book is filled with stories about her life as a private investigator. We have included some of what she has written in this post.

As addressed in a previous blog post, there are advantages that female private investigators tend to have over their male counterparts. Collins adds to this list stating that female investigators tend to be “non-confrontational, which in turn encourages witnesses to share confidences… they are intuitive, and they see the case as a whole.”

Collins’ former partner Shaun Kaufman, now a lawyer, states in her book that there are certain cases where lawyers prefer to hire female private investigators. There are some situations where a man, because of his voice and stature, may intimidate witnesses, especially children and women.

Kaufman informs that sometimes there are sensitive topics, related to sexual behaviour or other issues that require discretion where “female investigators are seen as more empathetic, more compassionate and less clinical than a male investigator.”

There are also incidences that require legal documents to be served on suspicious witnesses. A female investigator can “catch these wary subjects off guard and give them the paperwork without tipping off what her purpose is,” says Kaufman.

Sometimes a female private investigator is hired as a “honey trapper,” to flirt with a significant other to see if he flirts back; however, Collins’ agency has never accepted any honey trap cases because they “believe a private investigator’s role is to objectively document evidence, not induce it.”

Collins addresses the changing sleuth gear that her profession has seen in the last decade.

Amongst the cutting edge technology that is available for private investigators, there are smartphone apps that are useful and save time.

One of Collins’ favourite apps is the CamScanner. It allows users to scan any kind of document, edit the document and save and instantly share it online or by phone in a variety of formats.

Collins also likes to use Homesnap. It lets users quickly find out a range of information about a house, such as its history, simply by taking a picture of the house.

Technology offers innovative solutions to a myriad of problems, but it also raises concerns over privacy. These concerns have increased since Edward Snowden leaked government documents that revealed mass surveillance.

Many people are concerned about their privacy online. Collins states that the “best rule of thumb when it comes to privacy is to just keep communications offline and out of email.”

For people that are scared off by what Google does with their personal information, Collins suggests that they use other search engines such as DuckDuckGo and StartPage.

These alternatives allow users to benefit from using Google search capabilities while protecting their identity and search information.

Photo Source: Flickr

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