The internet is a big place, and it holds a significant amount of information about nearly everyone in the world. If you’ve ever used the internet, you’ve put at least some of your information out there, even if you didn’t mean to; it’s the same for everyone. Therefore, if you’re looking for someone, you should be able to use the internet to find key bits of information.
How do you do it?
Well, you have a number of options. When it comes to trawling through the massive amounts of information online, you don’t have to be a data company to discover the most important pieces. To find people online, you can:
-Conduct a general web search
-Search on social media
-Look on a dedicated people search site
Perform a General Web Search
If the person in question has a relatively unique name or a significant internet presence–or you have any other identifying bits of information–then a major search engine can be extremely helpful. As the world’s premier search engine, Google has a number of tricks that can help you narrow down your search. So, especially if you already know a bit of information about this person, you can use Google to get closer to what you need.
The problem, of course, comes when you don’t know all that much about someone, or if the person’s name is common. If you’re trying to find a Mary Smith who lives in New York City, a web search probably isn’t going to be much help without other distinguishing information.
If the person you’re looking for keeps information out of search indexes, you also won’t be able to find anything. It doesn’t take a lot of security knowledge to keep your name out of search results, and your target may have already taken that step.
Look Through Social Media Sites
Say you hit it off with someone at a friend’s party a while ago. If you try to get back in touch, social media sites like Facebook can be incredibly helpful. There are nearly 1.5 billion daily Facebook users and almost 2.3 billion monthly users. This makes it extremely likely that the person you’re looking for has a social profile. Even better, if you have mutual friends, Facebook is even more likely to be of use.
The downfall of this option is that it relies largely upon you having people in common, and it’s not very covert. If you try to find out information on someone you don’t really want to contact, but his or her profile is hidden, you’d have to send a friend request to see more. That kind of defeats the purpose of covertly researching someone in the first place! However, it’s very useful if you actually want to make a connection.
Use a People Search Engine
People leave information across the internet all the time. But it’s a pain to go through it manually and collect everything. You probably could, if you were determined and had a ton of spare time (who does?). But wouldn’t it be easier to just click a button? If everything else is automated nowadays, why not finding people? Well, it is, and online people search sites have you covered in this regard.
All you need is a first and last name, city and state, and you should be able to look up just about any adult in the United States. Run a people search on your new neighbor, look through the criminal records for the online date you just met, or use a reverse phone lookup to see who’s calling you.
Being able to find people online isn’t that difficult. In the modern era, finding identifying information is as easy as Googling someone’s name or browsing on Facebook. However, if you want the full picture, you may have to do a bit more digging. Let specialized people search sites help do that digging for you! They’re more accurate than a general search engine, more distanced than reaching out through social media, and much quicker than trying to gather everything yourself.
To get even more inspiration on how to find people online, be sure to read through the posts on the PeopleFinders blog.
Image attribution: Photo by blobbotronic – stock.adobe.com