Written by Jason Lee -
Finding people online is something that has become increasingly easier. As we shift more technology driven world, we are leaving a digital footprint behind us. People who don't use computers are often leaving a small trace, through government records made available to the public.
So what can you do to help you find a friend you lost contact with years ago? Or reconnect with a distant relative? Here are a couple of ways you can start your search to finding that person online.
If you know the name of the person you are trying to find online, Facebook is often a good place to start. With over 1.86 billion people actively using the site each month, you're likely to find some traces of the person through Facebook. While not everyone has a profile, it is possible their name could turn up in photos, or status updates.
Facebook can be a great way at working out where someone is based. Some people allow locations to show on their images and updates, while others choose to hide it. Regardless, Facebook is often a good starting point.
But what happens if you don't have a name or a rough location to work with? What can you do then to continue your search efforts?
The next step is to start searching online through search engines, like Google. As the largest search engine in the world crawling every site it knows about, there's a good chance something will come up.
Enter in whatever information you have - even if its only a user name from a website - and see what turns up. It is common for people with usernames to use them on other sites as well. While it's not guaranteed to be the person you're looking for, it could be the one hit you need to finally reconnect.
Once you've managed to get a name or even an email address to work with, you can take the next step to finding your person of interest.
Many online people search sites offer you the ability to search for someone by name or email address. We have a list of people search site reviews that could be of use to you. It is regularly updated, so the information we present is as accurate as possible.
Pick a site that you feel looks like it can help you with what you need, then begin your search. Now will be a good time to note that these services do need a credit card, but they could give you helpful information that your searches have not turned up.
Each site is different on what information they have on people, so try a couple if you want to be certain. There will need to be some checks you need to do, as most services do not verify the accuracy of their data. Use your due diligence and follow any further leads the reports can give you.
While these steps are common, they do come with pros and cons. The main issue is that no matter who you're searching for, results will vary from person to person. There's no guarantee you'll find the information you seek, but there's also a chance you get more than you hoped for.
Whatever your purpose, these steps should be a good start to help find leads you can follow. Now get out there and start your search to reconnect with your friends and relatives!