These days it’s getting more and more unheard of for someone to not have any trace of their personal lives stored online, especially with the growing amount of social media platforms out there such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. What is getting more common though is how more and more people wish to keep that information hidden, be it from telemarketers, data miners, or even just plain old online stalkers.
But what if you’re just trying to look for an old friend or relative that you’ve lost touch with? Or, maybe, you’re keen on finding out more about the person you just met? Or what if you just want to check on what people could possibly find out about you? Here are five tips on how to find people online.
1. Know the Ins and Outs of Google
Have you ever met someone and hit it off but never got to exchange contact details? Google can provide the answers that you need. The easiest way would be to simply type in the name of whoever you want to find on the internet, but what if you don’t know the person’s full name? Just think of everything you remember about them such as their name (first or last), school or job, and location, type them in search bar, e.g. “jane singapore university student psychology,” and see which results Google shows you.
What if you met someone online and all you ended up getting was a picture? Another useful Google feature is the Google Image Search. You can easily upload that picture to see if it turns up anywhere else in the internet. This simple trick could definitely lead you to more sources.
2. Facebook People Search
If you ever want to fact check people you’ve met online, especially ones from dating apps, Google may not be enough. Even though it is already a powerful search tool in itself, and is good for starting out, social media sites often have their own search engines such as Facebook People Search. Facebook People Search is indispensable and is also more tailored, having different search boxes that could filter profiles by name, hometown, current city, mutual friend, school name, employer, and higher education institutions.
If the details of the person you are searching for are not available, you can move onto their friends and relatives.
3. Searching Via Email
Email accounts are often prerequisites for the creation of social media accounts and are essential in terms of navigating the World Wide Web. If you ever met someone who wants to work or connect with you but who has only shared their work email with you, there are a number of tools and Google Chrome extensions that could help you find their social media. You can use instruments like Sales Navigator for Gmail specifically made for LinkedIn. This extension works directly from your Gmail account and shows LinkedIn profile details including your contact’s name, photo, current employment, their phone number, website, as well as their other social contact details like personal email address and Twitter name.
This ingenious hack could be easily clumped in with hack number 3 but this is too good to not have its own mention. Simply put the email address of the person you are trying to look for (e.g. if you work in HR and would like to check if an applicant has an account) and add it as a contact. Twitter will then check its database to see if it is tied to any Twitter profile.
5. Make Use of People Search Sites
If none of the previous tips work, it’s time to pull out your ace and use people search sites. There are lots of sites out there but the one we found convenient to use is Nuwber. Its interface is intuitive and its database is so large it can track down phone numbers, addresses, police records, lawsuits, property ownership and more. As a cherry on top all searches are also 100% confidential.
In this day and age there really is little escape from being found online, but always make sure to keep in mind that there are moral and ethical considerations involved in searching for people’s personal information. So make sure to use our hacks wisely!