Hide and Seek: How to find anyone online (and hide)

You can find someone online via the following methods:

How to find someone online
How to find someone online
  1. Log into all major social networks and use their inbuilt search function.
  2. Try searching for the exact phrase in a search engine while in comments, e.g., “fred123.”
  3. Try searching on a search engine while limiting the search to the social network of interest, e.g., “site: Facebook fred123”.
  4. Check forums for their username by using a reverse search engine such as UserSearch.org.
  5. Run searches through username lookup and looks for their username.
  6. Run searches using their email address on email lookup tools.
  7. Useful? read on to find out more on how to do these.

If your patience is running low and you are trying to track down some long-lost relatives or some obscure lesser-known musicians (or anyone else for that matter), and you are close to giving up on Google, then you’ve come to the right place. Here we tell you how to seriously go about trying to find people online, plus some good advice from experts who do it for a living. If you’d rather not be found online, then reading on could help you achieve that and help you fully understand how the professionals go about finding the hidden online.

Finding someone online, even with user lookup tools, takes patience and skill.
Finding someone online takes patience and skill, even with user lookup tools.

Before we start, it’s important for you to remember….a lot of people in this world wish just to be left alone, and you should respect that. This information is not here to help you stalk an ex or track bypass being blocked by a friend.

So, where should you next go to find someone online after you try using google? From our experience, we suggest you try out Facebook and Twitter as your next step.

How to search Social Networks

Don’t get us wrong; Google should still be your first and foremost attempt when trying to find someone online. The old trick of putting in “Fred Harris site:facebook.com” is still very effective even today. Google results using this method can show results that even Facebook’s own search function when you’re logged in may not yield results. While we’re on the topic of Google, another trick we use is to try out your normal search in google but try it on google images instead. It may not make sense initially, but Google tends to store image results in their search engine longer than textual results (when a user makes their profile private).

Another trick you can use Google for is to actually run an image search for the person’s face to find them online. However, to do this, you need an actual image of who you are looking for. Only have a side picture or a partial picture? Not to worry, google still does a good job and tracking down similar pictures.

Finding users on Facebook, Linkedin, and Twitter

The golden three networks, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook, are all huge databases of people you want to consider manually using to search for your person. Each one can be tweaked slightly to make the search a little more effective. For example, Facebook offers some great filters as part of the search; Twitter has some great filter searching similar to Facebook, as well as an advanced search page. Still not getting any luck? these networks allow you to limit a search based on location or organization (if you know this kind of detail).

Expert advice from us: We’ve found that people like to use a combination of their own names in their email addresses or Expert advice from us: We’ve found that people like to use a combination of their own names in their email addresses or usernames and add a number at the end of them. So, be patient and try various combinations (if you know their full name).

Unfortunately, Facebook and Twitter do allow you to stop people from finding you via public search unless you’re a friend of a friend. However, if you know the person’s email address or phone number, you can still find them sometimes if you log out of your own profile and try the public search (it only works if you know their email or phone number).

The people lookup tool on UserSearch.org has some pretty advanced lookup methods and can search hundreds of social networks, dating sites, and crypto sites with the click of a button. This is very handy for those who are not quite sure what the username or email is and need to try multiple combinations.

UserSearch is a great resouce for online looks and reverse username searching.
UserSearch is a great resource for online looks and reverses username searching.

Search Engines to find someone online

Using search engines to run user lookups
Using search engines to run user lookups

The great thing about the internet is everything is pretty much public. Unless the owners of websites have configured their robots.txt file to stop search engines from crawling and gathering their data completely, the data will have been sucked up into their vast databases. If you’re not getting much luck with Google, we suggest you try out some leading search engines such as DuckDuckGo, Bing, Dogpile, WebCrawler, or our favorite, Way Back Machine. Google is great, but it’s still pretty new compared to some of these, and what you may be looking for is now private but was once public (which the older search engines have picked up).

Have they been chatting on forums?

Use forums to do user lookups.
Use forums to do user lookups.

Forums are online communities where people chat, argue, and discuss important topics, as well as entertain themselves. People generally set up their accounts with these communities without really thinking, it just spurs the moment. They use a username that typically matches their email address (easy to remember) or uses a previously used or simulacrum username. If you find their account on their forum, you can obtain detailed information on their conversations. Most people presume they are anonymous in these communities, so you may find information and discussions that they wouldn’t share in public. Again, our search engine on Usersearch.org has a specific search function that allows you to run username searching through forums and online communities, as well as finance forums and crypto communities.

What are User Lookup Tools available?

There are other sites similar to UserSearch that provide user lookup and reverse user searching functions, should you prefer to use them :

Were so confident in our user lookup tool, were showing you our competitors!
There are so many ways to find someone online!
  1. Pipl People Search
  2. True People Search
  3. Find People Search
  4. Peek You
  5. ClassMates
  6. Family Tree Now
  7. TinEye
  8. Zaba Search
  9. Google Groups
  10. Usa.gov
  11. Facebook
  12. Linkedin
  13. Stolen Camera Finder
  14. Usersearch.org
  15. Usersearch.io

So as you can see, there are so many options on how to find someone online; we are not the only tool available. They do all have their pros and cons, but the most important skills set you can utilize are perseverance and patience. These, along with a multitude of tools, and you will find anyone (unless perhaps you read our next part on how to hide online!

How can you hide online?

If you want to reduce your online footprint and protect yourself from reverse lookup tools like ours and others, here are some tools to help do this, which we will talk about later:

How to find out who is tracking you online
How to find out who is tracking you online
  1. panopticlick
  2. Am I unique?
  3. Disconnect
  4. Thunderbeam
  5. trackography
  6. whotracksme
  7. You can also run your own personal emails and usernames in a user lookup tool like UserSearch, to see how public your identity is. If you find yourself, you can log into that profile and set your profile to private or just delete it.

If you want to truly take care of your online identity, whether that’s an identity for your business or just your personal accounts, then please read on.

So, let me ask you a question, how much do you enjoy paying for everything you do online? Or, do you, most like us, like the majority internet, be free? By free, we mean accepting the viewing of advertising and tracking as a part of life, just like there is a security camera at every corner in your city.


There is an old proverb that fits in nicely with this business strategy, which goes, “if you’re not paying, you’re the product.” I can’t help but think of old-style mafia gangs doing ‘free favors’ for you as a similar example. There is always a hidden cost, and you’ll pay your chunk of flesh in return, eventually. When it comes to the internet, your pay with your personal habits, browsing history, personal preferences, and shopping lists. Every inch of your online life is profiled, stored in databases, and AI-run to determine what’s in next week’s shop run. If you want to see who is tracking your online habits,

Panopticklick is a great tool to try out. It gives you predictions on how much of your activity is currently being tracked. It does this by reviewing all your accessible browser extensions and add-ons, determining who made them, and checking their history on if they are accessing your browsing sessions. The results can be quite shocking. The conclusions? remove the extensions they tell you to!

Am I Unique?

This is a useful tracker analyzer that lets you check how unique your browser fingerprint is when you visit a website. Obviously, the more unique your browser, the easier you’re to track. Sometimes, a website can determine your Geolocation, the type of browser your using, its version, the website you visited prior to visiting the current website, and even your computer, whether it’s an old MAC or if you browsing on the phone, scary huh? The site will also then give you advice on how you can make your fingerprint a little more private.


We just talked about sites that will tell you who is tracking you based on checking your browser extensions etc. This

Protecting your online identity
Protecting your online identity

is a nifty little tool that is actually a browser extension, but it blocks all other extensions (one extension to rule them all!)

In total, this tool will block up to 2,500 individual trackers who are trying to get at your data and follow you around the web. A great little advantage of this tool is by blocking all these trackers, we’ve found that websites load up to 30% faster!

It’s easy to use, and all you need to do is visit their site and literally click ‘Get Disconnect.’ It will install in either your Firefox, Chrome, Safari, or Opera browsers, and away you go.


Thunderbeam is a great online analysis tool that will let you visualize all the trackers trying to hook you in. It also displays the information in some great mind maps. It historically only worked on a limited number of browsers, but it works on all of them now. Another plus? it’s totally free!


In our opinion, this is one of the best available, plus it’s open source. It gives you an interactive interface to view and analyze all the trackers hooked to your browser.

The tool gives you information on who is tracking you, their country, and the countries behind the website of the tracker. They can even find the company that is hosting the website of the company that is tracking you! You really are moving into the realms of tracking the trackers now.

Finally…Trace my Shadow

This one has closed; we just found out. That was short.

Protecting your online identity

Protect your identity online is important because anyone can do a reverse lookup
Protect your identity online is important because anyone can do a reverse lookup

We’ve talked about how you can find anyone online. We’ve also gone into how websites can track and identify you without you even registering your details on their website. Now…I’m sure you can think of how you spend your time online and, perhaps, make safer decisions with your data.

If you want to stay safe, you’ll need to perform regular online checks to ensure your user profiles, email addresses, and passwords are not suddenly public for the world to see. Thankfully, UserSearch provides a full suite of tools to do this, should you wish to process to the advanced member’s areas at UserSearch.io.

10 Rules to Protect your Identity

In the final summary, there are ten core rules for keeping your online identity safe online:

  1. Keep your software up to date
  2. Don’t click on links within emails
  3. Use Anti-virus software
  4. Backup your computer
  5. Use a strong password
  6. Use a firewall
  7. Limit your downloads
  8. Use a popup blocker
  9. Use tracker blog software
  10. Regularly check your online public profiles with a Reverse username tool

Keep safe, and if you are interested in finding out more about what our advanced site can offer you, check out this latest post in which we show you how to run an online search to find someone from step one, but using advanced member-only features.

Our next article: What information can you get from POF, Match, and Reddit?

In our next article, we’ll talk about what information is available on Plenty of fish. We’re also covering the dating site Match.com, and the hugely popular community Reddit. We will discuss what benefits can be gained using username lookup tools and reverse username tools.