Have you lost a friend in the throes of life? Or simply lost contact with someone before the great white Internet revolution happened, in the ancient age of telephones? Or do you simply want to track that prospective employee's credentials over the Internet? Whichever way you are looking out for people in, people locators are here to help you.
Using People Locator Tools to Find People
As their name suggests, people locator tools are used to find people on the Internet. The Internet is the richest database of information, and if you are looking for someone, there is certainly no other option to begin your search.
The person you are looking for is bound to have some part of his/her identifying information located somewhere on the Internet. It could be an email id, a telephone number, a family list of names, or even our own name. They might be part of our high school alumni list, or our job employees' list.
Earlier, when someone was to be located, we had to hire a private investigator and pay them heavily to get all the information we wanted. Private investigators would track the missing person in much the same manner manually, that we can do using the Internet nowadays.
Of course, using the Internet to search for missing people makes the process much more efficient and faster on a global scale. You can very well understand how searching for a person with the barest of identifying information available can be a pain if it is done manually, but with the Internet, tracking is much simpler.
The easiest people locator tools are definitely the search engines, Google being the most prominent in the business. Even a school kid can search for a person using the search engines. The way is to type in the information available, such as the name, telephone number, or email address, in the search bar and look carefully at the results that are shown.
For exact matches, the search strings must be included within double quotes. Of course, one should not expect that you will find your friend's laughing visage as soon as you make a Google search, but at least you might get some clue of the whereabouts of the missing person.
Online global communities (Twitter, Facebook, and even YouTube) are great people finder tools nowadays. Most of the Internet active people have their profiles on some of these communities. If you are earnestly finding someone, these communities are the best way to find them.
Apart from being locator tools, they can help you to know what the person you are searching for is up to and who his/her friends are, etc. In fact, using these online communities, you can know more about the person than you ever knew when the person was in direct contact.
Online People Directories
There are some specialized directories on the Internet that serve the prime purpose of finding people.
These directories categorize people according to their high school year, or the football league they played in, or the neighborhood they lived in, just about anything. They contain extensive information, so they can be great help for you, but it is mandatory that you must know some initial information of the person you are searching for.
Reverse Look-up Directories
Reverse look-up directories become effective means when you want to find people by their phone number or address. These are the exact reverse of people directories. If you know just the phone number or address of the person, you have to put that exactly in the directory, and the person matching that information will show if he or she is present on the list.
You can even use the address, if all you have is an old address where the person you are looking for, used to stay. The condition is definitely that the person should be listed on the directory.
However, most of these reverse look-up directories keep updating their lists by making their own searches across the Internet. So, even if someone has not put their name into the directory, their name might be present from somewhere else on the Internet.
You can also find some specialized services on the Internet that will run all the algorithms for your search by themselves and show you the matching results.
Of course, if you are searching for Susan Smith, there could be hundreds of Susan Smiths thrown up by these results, but then you can redefine parameters and search within the results to narrow down the list. Takes time, but you will land up with a prospective shortlist, which might include the Susan Smith you are looking for.
There are both free and paid people locator services on the Internet. The free services suffer from all the handicaps that free services always have - such as limited services, limited accessibility features, limited number of searches, and a limited directory too.
Most of the free services do not update their directory list often, so you might not find who you are looking for. At the same time, paid services could sometimes charge you based on the number of results they show. Since you will be getting most results that are way off the mark, you might be paying much more than you bargained for.
Hence, when you are finding people, it is best to make some efforts of your own first. If you fail despite several attempts, you can think if you want to employ a locator service for your requirements.