Is It Legal to Record a Phone Conversation in Maryland?
July 1, 2013
Tips for Preventing Your Email from Being Hacked
July 15, 2013
Show all

6 Tools for Finding a Person Using the Internet

While private investigators are often tasked with finding people that do not want to be found, the reality is that many people search the internet for ways to connect with individuals that are not hiding from authorities, but rather have simply become out of touch.  These people might include a college buddy, high school sweetheart, or friends and family members not seen for years.

The search engines offered by Google, Bing and others are the most obvious places to start, and can be powerful tools that can assist in locating nearly anyone. They can be used to track down their current and past addresses, find phone numbers and offer valuable data when searching for any individual. But in this article, let’s take a look at the less obvious digital tools at your disposal.

Before You Begin

The initial step to take before anything else is to gather as much information about the individual you already know. Even the most seemingly unimportant minute detail could be extremely important in locating the individual.

The list you build should include the current and past locations of his or her family if known. It should also include their full name, including their middle name, and any alias. Having the names of all of their siblings and as many friends as possible will also help.

The list should include the neighborhood where they grew up, along with the schools and colleges they attended and the employers that they work for. Their date of birth, even without the year could be of assistance. Any old address will serve as a valuable piece of data in the process of locating the individual.

6 Tools Available To Anyone

With the pertinent information gathered, then it’s time to get started. There are numerous websites and search engines available to make the process easy. They include:

  1. Search Engines – The first and most commonly used step is to use a traditional search engine such as Google or Bing. Typing in the individual’s name along with other information might produce an exact location, or a way to contact the person.
  2. People Search Engines – There are specific search engines that are strictly dedicated to locating individuals using databases across the Internet. This often includes additional information that is not typically readily available through a traditional search and may include fees.
  3. Social Networking Sites – Nearly everyone is participating in some type of social network including Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and others. The individual being sought might have an open and active account to help make contact.  If you are lucky, they may have their contact information available on a site that you are both members of.
  4. Image Search Engines – The Internet now has the ability to search for images online to find an exact match on a different site. This could help locate the individual that might be using a different name on a social networking site or other website.
  5. Genealogical Sites – Searching through genealogical sites is an easy way to gain valuable information concerning the lineage of the family including family members that might not have been previously known. This information is gathered from a variety of sources including historical phonebooks, census records and documents that are archived.
  6. Public Records – Numerous sites in every city, county and state maintain public records online. By knowing where the individual resided or resides, the searcher can narrow down the amount of time to search through the records. It is also a quick way to find the records of any individual that has a lawsuit filed against them, owns private property, or has a criminal record in that specific state, county or city.

These valuable resources can be fully utilized to help locate someone using the Internet. When all else fails, and the efforts have produced little to no results, it is likely time to use the services of a private investigator to locate an individual or witness.  If you have tried these tips and are still having trouble locating someone, contact us today to find out more about our Locates services. Our private investigators will provide you with a confidential assessment of the effort needed to find that person you are looking for.

Click here to find out more about our Locates services