Using search best practices will help you find the best results.
Navigate to our Echosec search optimization tips by category:
Visit the Echosec User Guide for comprehensive user instructions.
Combining Quick Search Parameters
Running Quick Searches effectively is the foundation of using Echosec. Users can perform a Quick Search by location, keyword, user, date published, provider, and media type (image/video).
Combine as many search parameters as possible.
Combining multiple parameters, such as location, keyword, and provider will make your search more specific and reduce the amount of non-relevant posts returned. If you're looking exclusively for images and videos, select those media types under the "More" tab:
Consider provider limitations when combining search parameters.
When using multiple search parameters, keep in mind provider limitations. For example, if finding geotagged posts is important for your search, note that only Flickr, Reddit, Twitter/Twitter Firehose, and YouTube support location-based searches. Learn more about Echosec's provider limitations here. Refer to the icon(s) next to each provider in the "More" drop-down to find supported search parameters:
Find historical content using the date published filter.
Use the date published filter with your other search parameters to find data posted in a specific historical time frame. This is helpful if you want to find context from a specific past event. Check out Echosec's provider limitations for information on how far back each provider retrieves results.
Integrate Twitter to search by Twitter username.
If Twitter is one of your data providers, integrate your Twitter account to perform searches by Twitter username. Integrate your Twitter account in your Settings.
Using Keywords in a Quick Search
Searching by keyword is the only parameter currently supported by all of Echosec's data providers. Honing your keyword search skills is crucial for finding relevant results and reducing noise.
Use quotes around keywords to return results with that exact phrase (there's no harm in doing this for single words, too). This is useful for multi-word phrases or keywords with hyphens (e.g. "chick-fil-a," "bank account," "don't come to school").
Use Boolean Logic.
Echosec Quick Searches support the Boolean Logic Operators AND and OR. For example, if you're part of a telecommunications security team searching for evidence of a SIM jacking/swapping scam, you could run the following keyword search to find multiple iterations of the same term:
(bell AND "SIM jack") OR (bell AND "SIM swap")
This search type is also useful for finding potential keyword spelling variations and misspellings. A visualization appears below the Quick Search keyword field to validate the Boolean Logic structure as you type (operators must be all-caps):
To use the NOT Boolean Operator, Echosec users must save a Quick Search and create and apply an exclusion search filter using any undesired keywords (refer to the filter section below). Learn more about using Boolean Logic in the Echosec Systems Platform here.
Search for keywords in multiple languages.
Echosec recognizes characters from any language. This is useful if your search is relevant to a region or community where multiple languages are prevalent. You can also translate post results, or any keyword within the Quick Search keyword field. Users can choose from 103 supported languages when translating, powered by Google Translate:
Search for emojis.
Echosec also supports emoji keyword searches. For example, you could search for a pistol emoji in combination with a certain phrase or location to find potential security threats.
To view an emoji keyboard within Echosec:
For Mac: place your cursor in the keyword field and press Control + Command + Spacebar.
For Windows: place your cursor in the keyword field and press Windows + semicolon (;) or Windows + period (.).
You can also visit Emojipedia and copy and paste relevant keywords into Echosec.
Research language/internet lingo.
Sometimes the most challenging part of finding relevant results is not knowing how to search, but knowing what to search. Understanding web-based colloquialisms can help refine your results. Reddit's lingo glossary is a useful example of this.
Avoid blacklisted keywords.
Keywords that can be perceived as offensive or isolate/target a certain group of individuals are blacklisted by certain Echosec data providers. A pop-up will notify you if you've searched a blacklisted keyword, and the term will be skipped in search results. Because keyword blacklists are constantly changing, Echosec Systems does not provide an official blacklist. Learn more about our Acceptable Use Policy here.
Using Location Parameters in a Quick Search
Avoid location-based searches for providers who don't support it.
Again, consider that not all Echosec providers support location-based searches. Learn more about Echosec's provider limitations here. Refer to the icon(s) next to each provider in the "More" drop-down to find providers that support location searches.
Use geofencing to specify a search area and use smaller geographic areas.
Geofencing is useful for finding posts emanating from a defined or smaller area. Reducing location-based searches to smaller areas, such as an executive's travel route within a city, will refine your search results and reduce noise. Use the polygon shape on the top left of the map to draw irregular geofence shapes:
Use airport or event hashtags as keywords.
Social media users often use airport code hashtags to indicate their location rather than geotagging their posts. This makes airport hashtag keyword searches useful if you want to find posts related to a specific city from providers that don't support location-based searches. You can also combine airport codes with events or other categories (eg. #PDXevents, #PDXtech, #PDXnews all refer to Portland-based events).
Saving a Quick Search is necessary to further refine results and stay alerted as relevant content is published. Check out the Echosec User Guide for more information on setting notifications.
Save your searches.
This might seem like a redundant tip, but we want to emphasize the importance of saving a Quick Search. This step can often be overlooked when you run a Quick Search and start seeing results appear.
When you run a Quick Search, wait for the results to fully populate before saving (this can take a minute). These Quick Search results will also appear in your Saved Search results marked as "read."
Keep in mind that any filters you apply to a Saved Search still only apply to posts going forward, not to any of these existing Quick Search results. This is why you might see marked "read" posts in your Saved Search that do not match applied filters.
Apply additional filters to your saved search.
Saved Search filters enable you to include or exclude long keyword lists and detect objects within search results images. Visit our Echosec User Guide for details on setting up Saved Search filters.
Inputting dozens of keywords into the Quick Search keyword field can get clunky. Generally speaking, the Quick Search keyword field is useful for finding important keywords that search results must contain; Saved Search filters are useful for refining those results further with additional, "optional" keywords. Again, filters do not apply to any Quick Search results, even those retained after you saved the search.
Users can apply default (pre-built) Echosec filters that have been created for common use cases. Or, you can create a custom filter by entering keywords manually or uploading a bulk CSV file. There are a few different search filter types:
- Keyword Inclusion
Posts must include any or all of the specified keywords.
- Keyword Exclusion
Posts must exclude any or all of the specified keywords. Echosec Quick Searches only allow the Boolean Operators AND and OR. Use keyword exclusion filters in place of the Boolean Operator NOT.
- Author Exclusion
Posts must not be authored by any or all of the specified users. This filter is useful for excluding authors who post a lot of irrelevant content about your brand if that's what you're searching for—for example, Twitter job bots or your organization's own account.
- Object Detection
Posts must include any or all of the specified objects. Echosec's object detection feature is limited to certain object keywords. Users can download the supported object keyword list on the Create Custom Filter page. Supported keyword suggestions also appear alphabetically as you type into the "New object keyword" field:
Consider root words in your keyword filters.
When you create inclusion or exclusion search filters, results will include variants of each keyword's root word.
For example, entering burn into a keyword inclusion filter also aggregates results containing burns, burning, burned, and any other variants of burn. If you enter burn into a keyword exclusion filter, Echosec also excludes those variants from search results. In short, if you're searching for regular nouns and verbs, it's only necessary to include the root.
If you want to only include exact matches for a filter keyword, surround the keyword or keyword phrase in quotes, just as you would in a Quick Search.
Create keywords with a minimum of three characters.
Echosec filters require you to create keywords with three or more characters. You can add quotations around short keywords to bump up the character count.
Save multiple searches.
Saving multiple searches with different parameters and filter combinations can help you refine results and separate them by use case. For example, say you are part of an executive protection team:
Search 1: The team saved a search for the executive's full name and applied filters for negative sentiment and violent incidents. The team uses this search to find online threats or negative press targeting the executive.
Search 2: The team saved a search with a geofence around the executive's travel route and applied filters for violent incidents, crisis situations, and local disruptions. The team uses this search to find on-the-ground threats and disruptions for the executive's upcoming trip.
Search 3: The team saved a search using airport or event hashtags of the city their executive is travelling to (rather than a geofence) and applied the same filters. The team uses this search to find potential on-the-ground threats that aren't necessarily geotagged within their executive's travel route.
Consider your usage limits if you are running multiple searches.