How to Find Details About a Person
By Robert Schrader
As the Internet expanded into its so-called "Web 2.0" phase, people began regularly publishing pieces of their personal information online, ranging from things as mundane as web messenger screen names to key details like the employer names and cell phone numbers. Whether you choose to scour "social networking" websites --- which are replete with information users have chosen to publicly reveal --- or use another method, finding details about a person online is easier than you might think.
Locate a person's profile on MySpace, Facebook or any other "social networking" site. Type his name into the "Search" bar located at the top of the page and browse through search results until you find the correct profile. Click the profile name to visit the page, which may contain personal details if he has chosen to remember. If the profile indicates that it is "private," you will need to add the person as a friend in order to view details.
Visit a professional networking site such as LinkedIn.com to find out details about a person's employment history. Although LinkedIn users may also opt to keep details private as is the case with social networking websites, the very purpose of LinkedIn --- to help individuals make professional contacts --- would suggest that making professional details publicly visible is in the best interest of job seekers and those looking to advance in their careers.
Perform a records search on your county's website. Navigate to the "Public Records" or "Criminal Records" section of the website, then enter the person's name for which you'd like to find additional details. These searches can pull up results as simple as applications for building permits or records relating to criminal convictions.
Run a background check on your choice of the websites --- IntegraScan, Intelius or Employment Screening. While these professional background checks will require an out-of-pocket expenditure, they yield a wide range of information, including lawsuits, bankruptcies, tax liens and other information you will likely not find using any other method.
Robert Schrader is a writer, photographer, world traveler and creator of the award-winning blog Leave Your Daily Hell. When he's not out globetrotting, you can find him in beautiful Austin, TX, where he lives with his partner.