Anyone with a search engine has access to public records, state databases, and social media networks. If you want to run a background check on someone or find a long-lost friend or relative, here’s how to find people online – for free, in most cases.
Before you get started, you should gather some details about the subject of your search, such as their home state or date of birth. You’d be amazed at how much information you can get with only that information – and their name, of course. In addition, you should use more than one search engine for the best results.
People finders such as Pipl go above and beyond websites that search Twitter, Facebook, and other standard social media platforms. This service’s deep web search is nothing short of impressive, providing a large number of search results. It can retrieve data not only from Google but also from job search sites and other various sites, such as Soundcloud. It can also uncover phone numbers, email addresses, physical addresses, and even lists of possible relatives.
The signup procedure is a tad cumbersome, but you’ll find the results are well worth the effort.
Google Groups were the most powerful tool to find people on the Internet back in the day and they’re still pretty helpful today. This service has an archive of online conversations going four decades back as of 2021. What’s more, the database holds almost a billion Usenet messages. You could find a trace of someone who went to college during this time frame.
In the early years of the Internet, Usenet channels were a common method of accessing it. Companies, research centers, colleges, and other establishments used Usenet for collaboration. You’ll probably find more about the person you’re looking for using Google Groups. Also, you’ll get an impression of their motivations, ideas, and thoughts at that time.
You can use a genealogy site to track down someone, but keep in mind that the process differs from typical search procedures. Depending on the respective site’s policy and data privacy laws, the data available on living people might be limited. You can expect a very small amount of data if the subject of your search is alive. On the plus side, establishing familial connections to them will be useful. You’ll see a list of possible relatives and address history information.
Sometimes, you need to do more than to simply type a name into Google to track a person down. Now is the time to get creative. Try classmates.com or another high school reunion site. Alumni.net is a good option to find information about them from a university they attended. However, you would need to know where the person you are looking for went to school to use this method. If you have the relevant information, the site will pull up a list of the people who’ve registered with the same academic institution.
It’s best to begin by choosing a school by city and state and then entering the person’s name. You have a good chance of finding the subject of your search because of the sheer multitude of entries on these sites. In particular, Classmates is only available in the US, so don’t limit your search to it. You can also look for sites accessible worldwide.
The Internet is Overflowing With Data
The Internet is a vast database of personal information. You’d be hard-pressed to find someone who hasn’t registered on LinkedIn or Facebook, posted in a forum, or left a comment on a blog or news article. The information available about people is used by different sites in various ways. Explore them, and don’t give up if you don’t get lucky immediately. The results will be worth your time and effort.