10 Ways You Can Use the Web to Find People

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Ten Ways You Can Use the Web to Find People

how to find people online
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Tracking down someone you might have lost contact with is one of the most popular activities on the Web all over the world, and with good reason: the vast amounts of free information available online make finding people easier than ever before in history. The following tools and websites are all free and easy to use. These selections deliver consistently reliable results with the least amount of work.

A couple of things to keep in mind while reading this article, and before you start using any of the resources listed here:

  • Be patient. Have you ever heard the phrase "Rome wasn't built in a day"? If the person you're looking for hasn't left much to go on, you probably won't find them all in one simple search. Give yourself time, and realize that one single search using one tool will most likely not end up with the results you're hoping for. 
  • Use all the tools in your toolbox. Don't limit yourself to just one search ​engine or just one website. Every search tool you use can give surprisingly different results. Each tool adds just a bit more information to the overall summary.
  • Keep your money. At the time of this writing, all of the resources listed here were absolutely free and didn't require any further financial or personal information. If you come across information that requires a credit card, do NOT give out your secure data. ​Learn more about whether or not you should pay to find information online
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use google to find people

Ask someone what Google is, and they'll tell you it's a search engine. However, Google is much more than just a search engine; it offers a whole spectrum of search tools that you can use to find people on the Web. These include finding a phone number, tracking down maps, and images. 

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Family Tree Now

Use FamilyTreeNow to find information about people from the past.

Family Tree Now has become a very popular people search site that provide a surprising amount of information, all for free, no registration required. Anything from census records to birth dates and phone numbers can be found here, making the site both quite useful and somewhat controversial at the same time. 

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Zabasearch, a free people search engine, uncovers a startling amount of information, most of it astonishingly accurate (well, most of it is accurate; Zabasearch updates its records according to what is publicly available). You can search by what is available in the public domain for free public access. If you're not comfortable with your information being accessible in Zabasearch, read How to Remove Personal Information from Zabasearch.

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People Search Sites

People search websites and databases are excellent resources for finding someone.

There are a wide variety of websites that focus only on people-related information, such as online phone directories, databases, etc. These sites are excellent resources for picking up bits and pieces of information, such as business phone numbers, obituary notices, and census data.

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Obituaries and Death Notices

Obituaries and death notices are one way to find people from the past.

Surprisingly, in a day of almost limitless information online, obituaries prove somewhat tricky to find down simply because they are published by local, city, and state newspapers, who don't always update their websites accordingly. However, there are ways to find both present and past obituaries on the Web using a variety of resources and search queries. 

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use facebook to find people

Hundreds of millions of people use Facebook every day to connect with friends and family all over the world. You can use these incredibly deep, diverse networks to find a person, a company, a brand, an organization, really, the possibilities are endless. Note: You will need to have a Facebook account (it's free) in order to access all the Facebook information that will (potentially) be available to you. Learn more about using Facebook to find people.

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Public Records

find public records online

All sorts of really interesting public, vital, historical, and genealogical records can be tracked down online, or, you can use the resources you find on the Web to give you a running start at your local records offices.

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People Search Engines

people search engines

Search engines that focus on only people-related information, like a search engine that filters results from the Invisible Web, or tools that bring in any related Web content to​ the person you're looking for, are incredibly valuable tools when you're trying to dig up as much information as possible.

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Cell Phone Numbers

how to find a cell phone number online

If you've ever tried to look up a cell phone number, you've probably hit a brick wall. Cell phone numbers are very attractive to people who enjoy their privacy since they are not listed in public phone directories. However, there are ways to get around this and track down who a cell phone number really belongs to using a few clever search tricks. 

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Search Engine Shortcuts

use a search engine to find people online

If you're trying to figure out what part of the country a U.S. area code is related to, all you need to do is type in the area code into any search engine. You can also use the Web to find a toll free phone directory. And check out this list of the top web search tricks for more ways you can find people on the Web.