Fundamentals of OSINT

Open enrolment and in-house options available

This four-day curse combines models from our Open Source Intelligence and Social Media Intelligence Foundations courses. The course begins with the principals of web and social media monitoring, before going on to provide instruction in effective online research. From there we elaborate on how to exploit specific social media channels for intelligence or investigative purposes. Participants will also be given instruction in related disciplines such as requirements planning, information operations and online security. The course has been designed to help organisations wishing to onboard or train a large number of analysts in a limited amount of time. Our fee structure has been amended to ensure that your training initiatives are as cost effective as possible.

There are currently no dates planned for this course. Register your interest for future dates or enquire about in-house options.

Course Outline

The Intel Cycle, Requirements Planning, Set-Up and Security

OSINT, SOCMINT and the Intelligence Cycle

  • Introduction to OSINT and SOCMINT
  • The history and evolution of OSINT and SOCMINT
  • Introduction to the Intelligence Cycle
  • Intelligence as the management of uncertainty
  • Intelligence as the management of surprise
  • OSINT and SOCMINT as sources of surprise
  • The benefits and limitations of OSINT and SOCMINT
  • Strategic and operational dimensions
  • Legal and ethical considerations
  • Working with the Lean Intelligence Methodology

Managing Requirements

  • Analysing and managing your customer
  • Identifying collection requirements
  • The Key Intelligence Topics (KITs) process
  • Collection planning: tools and frameworks
  • Establishing a keyword / hashtag index

Prepping Your Browser

  • Configuring your privacy settings
  • Configuring your search settings
  • Essential OSINT tools and extensions
  • OSINT tools management

Privacy and Security for OSINT Practitioners

  • Understanding the threat landscape
  • Managing your digital footprint
  • Choosing the appropriate level of security

Privacy and Security Tools

  • Securing your user accounts
  • Secure searching and browsing
  • Privacy-enhancing search engines
  • Working with VPNs
  • Working with password managers
  • Antivirus and anti-malware protection

Automating OSINT and SOCMINT

Automating OSINT Collection

  • Working with RSS feeds
  • Working with data aggregators
  • Generating data from news sources

Automating SOCMINT Collection

  • Generating data from social media platforms
  • Generating data from academic resources
  • Generating data from foreign language sources
  • Expanding your source base: best practices
  • Feed management: tips and best practices
  • Indexing and sharing your sources

Working with Twitter

  • Searching Twitter effectively
  • Automating Twitter queries

Working with Blogs

  • Blog discovery: tools and strategies
  • Working with blog platforms
  • Monitoring a blog's content
  • Mapping a blogger’s online footprint
  • Validating bloggers and their content

Effective Search Skills

Searching the Web

  • Contemporary search challenges
  • Foundational search strategies
  • Recommended search engines
  • Working with search operators
  • Constructing complex search queries
  • Enhancing productivity through extensions
  • Working with foreign language content
  • Automating search queries

Images and Imagery Sources

  • Image search strategies and resources
  • Reverse image search tools
  • Investigating memes
  • Investigating image metadata
  • Checking for image manipulation
  • Validating images

Effective Data Management and Exploitation

  • Data triaging techniques
  • Data management tools and techniques
  • Data collation and synthesis tools
  • The pre-analysis checklist

Social Media and Information Operations

Working with Telegram

  • Finding and searching Telegram groups
  • Finding and searching Telegram channels
  • Monitoring Telegram channels
  • Capturing and labelling content
  • Investigating Telegram profiles

Working with Discord

  • Finding and searching Discord channels
  • Monitoring Discord channels
  • Capturing and labelling content
  • Investigating Discord profiles

Working with Forums

  • Working with forums and discussion boards
  • Working with chan sites and image boards
  • Working with Reddit and its alternatives
  • Independent social media platforms
  • Finding interest-based communities
  • Scraping and monitoring forum data

Video Sharing Platforms

  • Video search strategies and resources
  • Working with video hosting platforms
  • Monitoring video platforms, channels and users
  • Investigating video content and metadata
  • Geolocating video content
  • Verifying and validating video content
  • Downloading and saving video content

Information Operations

  • Analysing the target audience
  • Analysing the source
  • Analysing messages and modes of delivery
  • Analysing for mis- and disinformation
  • Analysing sentiment and tone
  • Analysing audience engagement and responses
There are currently no dates planned for this course. Register your interest for future dates or enquire about in-house options.

Course Details


This course is intended for organisations wishing to scale the OSINT and SOCMINT capabilities of large groups of analysts.


On completion of this course, you will have the ability to:

  • Identify and manage your intelligence needs
  • Situate these needs to the wider intelligence cycle
  • Use the Lean Intelligence methodology to generate realtime open source and social media intelligence
  • Automate the collection of data using a custom monitoring solution
  • Improve the quality, accuracy and relevance of your search results
  • Organise data to support effective collection, verification and analysis
  • Understand the role of OSINT and SOCMINT in information operations
  • Improve your online privacy and security
  • Practice OSINT and SOCMINT legally and ethically

Course Fee

  • 1 - 40 Participants: CHF 890
  • 41 - 60 Participants: CHF 790
  • 61 - 70 Participants: CHF 770
  • 71 - 80 Participants: CHF 745

The final rate may vary depending on the number of course iterations and the location of the course.


No prior knowledge or experience of OSINT or SOCMINT is needed to take this course. We recommend this course as an essential starting point for all analysts wishing to build a solid, foundational skillset.

Technical Requirements

Please observe the following requirements:

  • You will need a Windows or Mac laptop (tablet computers are not recommended)
  • Install Google Chrome. You will be required to install a range of browser extensions, so it is important that you have administrative rights to your laptop
  • Install Microsoft Office
  • Install Zoom
  • Set up a Google account to facilitate the use of different tools
  • A second monitor is recommended but not essential

Additional software / social media requirements will be sent prior to the start of the course.