Tips for Finding the Who Behind a Username
Many social media sites and other platforms allow users to retain some anonymity while using their services and tools, which is why they have them choose usernames when they register. However, this also means that it can be challenging to identify who is actually behind a username, particularly in the cases of fraud and impersonation. Fortunately, there are ways to identify the real person behind a username such as using a reverse username search, and these tips will get you started.
Check Multiple Sites
Humans often default to what they know, so they frequently use the same username on numerous sites. If you’re having trouble with a specific username on a certain platform, search for the username on other platforms or sites to see if there is any identifying information in those locations. For example, someone may be trying to be anonymous on a dating website, but used the same username on their Facebook account, which also includes their email address or other contact information.
Usually, you can just plug the username from one site into the search bar of another site to perform this search, but some users may change their username slightly. As such, you may have to try different combinations of the username information you have to find other accounts. For example, the username on one site might be duckduck43 on one site and 43duckduck or ducduc43 on another site.
Use Google and Other Search Engines
Sometimes, all you need is a simple Google or search engine search to discover who is behind a username. Google and other search engines provide robust search tools that allow you to narrow down your search to give you the most relevant results. So, if you know some information about a person behind a username, like their city or state, you can use the username plus the known information to really hone your results.
While a search through Google might be labor intensive and time consuming, it can deliver excellent results. You have to be patient and may have to look very deeply into the results before you find what you’re looking for, but people are very rarely as anonymous on the Internet as they think they are. The odds are that they slipped up at some point and revealed some personal information somewhere. If they did, Google can help you find it.
Use a Reverse Lookup Tool
If you’d rather not sift through thousands of Google search results to find the information you want behind a username, there are reverse lookup tools at your fingertips that will scour social media sites, Internet forums, and other platforms to identify bits of information that you can piece together to learn who the user is. These tools vary in cost from free to hundreds of dollars, but they get very good results quickly.
Be sure to check out reviews of any reverse lookup tool you want to use to make sure it’s reliable and can likely find the information you need. Some of the free ones might be performing a surface search that you could do on your own.
Protecting yourself from scammers and fraudsters online takes a proactive approach on your behalf. Finding who is behind a username is the first step toward keeping yourself safe.