There are many reasons for someone to engage in spy activities. Perhaps you think that an individual or organization is involved in illegal or unethical activity and you want to build a case. Maybe someone in your family or a friend is acting suspiciously, or you're concerned about a child care provider or other caregiver.
If you're interested in being a professional spy, it may be possible to find work as a detective in a local police department or with a Federal agency like the CIA, FBI or NSA. Private investigators also do surveillance and spy work.
Surveillance equipment makes it easier to spy on people, even those that you don't have direct access to. A GPS device can be planted on a vehicle easily. The device tracks where a vehicle goes. Many can give information over the Internet so that you don't even need to retrieve the device to get information.
Video or audio surveillance devices are excellent spying tools. They can be planted in a room, or even on a bag or item of clothing. Lower tech devices like binoculars and night vision glasses are also important equipment to have on hand.
There are some skills to develop if you want to spy. You'll need to learn how to walk and move stealthily to avoid detection. Learn to blend in to the environment so that it looks like you belong there. This may include studying up on cultural and social elements or even learning a new language. Dress well and look attractive to get information and fit in, but not so well that you stand out. Sunglasses, hats and other disguises make it more difficult for people to remember or recognize you, but the disguise must be subtle. Work on activities to sharpen your memory so that you can keep track of details and information without writing it down. You should also learn to read lips and body language.
Technical expertise is an important skill for a spy. You don't necessarily need to know how to crack or write code, but a good understanding of the Internet, email, and networking will be helpful. The ability to effectively perform searches on the Internet is also important.
The Internet is a great tool for a spy. Get information just by entering the names of people or organizations into a search engine. Public records, like real estate and court information, provide a wealth of information. Many counties and municipalities provide the information for free on their websites. You can follow people around in forums and social networking sites by tracking posts and activities. The more well known the person is, the easier it will be to get results.
Software programs can be installed to track keystrokes, email and other activity. You may need to know the network address of the computer to install the software remotely.
To be a spy, be discreet. Don't trust others or share information. However, if your spying activities could put you in a dangerous situation, it's a good idea to let someone trustworthy know what's going on. Check local laws before you spy, since some activities are illegal.