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A 21st Century Hot Commodity on the Internet 

A 21st Century Hot Commodity on the Internet

Searching for Friends

One of the biggest online search functions today is the free people search. As humans, we are naturally nosy and curious and since so much of our lives is now conducted online, this is where we go to find things out about people. Simply entering someone’s name online will give you a lot of information, including where they are and who they are. However, because of data protection, this has become a little bit more restricted nowadays, and perhaps quite rightly so. Although privacy seems to have disappeared, people do still want to have some level of control over what strangers can and cannot find out about them.

What People Searches Are for

There are numerous types of people searches available nowadays. Many of those are designed specifically for those among us who are simply a bit curious. We enter someone’s name into social media or in Bing and hope for the best. Others, such as Google People Finder have been created to help us find our loved ones after a natural disaster. All of these options are completely free to use.

However, there are also situations in which someone may want to pay for the information. For example, a prospective employer may wish to complete a background check on an individual. In fact, there are situations where this is mandatory. For instance, someone employed in the financial services has to pass a credit check, and someone who works with children has to pass a criminal background check. All of these provide very important details and tend to be paid for as well.

However, in many cases, someone simply wants to look someone up because they want to know more about them. They can do this in a variety of different ways:

  1. They could use their telephone number. For instance, two people may meet on a night out, and completely forget each other’s name after scribbling a telephone number on a coaster. Typing in the telephone number is a great way to find out who they are.

  2. They could use someone’s social security number (SSN), which allows people to find others completely for free. However, an SSN is a private piece of information, and you should only use this if you have permission to do so.


People searches are nothing new. It seems that since there has been any kind of register for people, others have tried to look people up. What these searches offer is becoming increasingly complex as well. For instance, in the past, it was only possible to look someone up through a reverse telephone number search, but this didn’t work on cellphones, which obviously had to change. Today, you may even be able to find people online using their email address, particularly if they have that linked to a social media account. The more you want to know about someone, and the more private those details are, the more likely it is that you will have to pay for it as well, however.

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