7 Easy Ways to Find Out Who's Searching for You Online

7 Easy Ways to Find Out Who’s Searching for You Online

Someone is looking for you online – and they’re probably going to find you. The web is full of websites and services that provide your details to others.

It’s an uncomfortable sensation to know that your personal data can be used to track you. While it is unlikely anyone who has Googled you would intend harm, it is useful to know who they are.

It might be a potential employer, former lover, or even a long-lost relative. But how would you know if someone is searching for you on the internet? Here are the five most likely ways people have of finding you.

Who Is Searching for Me Online?

Wondering how sites like MyLife know who is searching for you? They don’t. If you’re concerned that someone might be looking for you, there is sadly no way of knowing who they are.

In most cases, however, you probably have a good idea. Friendly faces will probably turn up via Facebook. Others, however, are likely to find another way.

While it’s not possible to reveal who they are, you can at least use the same tools they’re using. So, while you can’t see who has Googled you, you can set up alerts whenever your name appears on a website, in a forum, or on social networks.

From there, you should be able to trace the message back to the original poster and find out who they are.


1. Who Has Googled You? Use Google Alerts

Use Google Alerts to find who is searching for you

You might be asking yourself, “Who Googled me?” The first thing to do is to set up a Google alert. It might seem somewhat self-absorbed, but this is genuinely the first step in playing it safe.

Just don’t tell anyone you’ve got an alert for your own name on Google Alerts…

Sign in to Google and visit google.com/alerts. Here, enter your name in the alert box at the top of the page and click Create Alert.

Use the Show Options link to expand the view. This lets you set how often email alerts will arrive and where they should be delivered. You’ll see a preview of your alerts too, to give you an idea of how they will look.

It won’t tell you how many times your name has been Googled, but whenever Google spots your name on a website, news page, social media, forum, or blog post, it will send you an email alert!

2. Look for Social Mentions

Monitor who is talking about you online with Mention

Like Google Alerts, but focusing on social networks that might see mention of your name is Mention.com.

This is a web-based alert system that offers apps for Windows 10 and macOS, as well as Android and iPhone. Sign up is free for the standard service, while Mention also offers a 14-day trial of the fully featured service. Once you sign up, sign in and create an alert. You can choose up to four additional alerts, which in this case might be the names of close family members.

Click Get Started to proceed. Mention will start scanning sources, including blogs, forums and social networks like Facebook and Twitter. A default selection of sources is scanned initially; click the Edit alert button in the Mention dashboard to edit this.

The Mention dashboard lists all occurrences of your alert, which by default is sent to your email inbox. When an email is received, click the notification to instantly find out what context your name has been used in.

Is someone looking for you?

3. Set Up a LinkedIn Profile

Who is looking at your profile on LinkedIn

A LinkedIn profile is incredibly useful for finding a new job. You might be a freelancer, an expert in your field or if you’re simply looking for a change of career.

However, a presence on LinkedIn means that you can be found. Signing in to the service will display a total of profile views for the current period. LinkedIn Premium members will see full details of those viewing them; the free account holders will only see a handful.

Read More: Why LinkedIn Premium Is Worth Paying For

LinkedIn will display your profile views with the following information:

  • Name
  • Profile picture
  • Job role
  • Company/Business name
  • Connection type
  • Time since they viewed your profile

If someone is using LinkedIn to track you down, there is a good chance that it is for work-related reasons. On the other hand, you might like to know just who is looking, and why. Using the LinkedIn Premium service is a good way to get a handle on this. Unlike other options, it will display who has searched for you as long as they are a LinkedIn member.

4. Check Facebook Interactions to Learn Who Is Looking for You

Can you work out how to see who is looking at your Facebook profile

Facebook doesn’t tell you who has viewed your profile, right? Well, that’s half right. While there is no obvious, explicit way to spot who has checked you, Facebook does provide some clues.

Facebook’s algorithm for displaying which of your friends has viewed your profile is as unknown as the one that suggests new contacts. However, elements like photo tagging, profile views, and which contacts are online are all believed to impact who is displayed.

While imprecise, you can at least discern which contacts are interested in looking for you online.

Meanwhile, if you use the Facebook Story feature, you can check who has viewed the post. After posting a story and waiting for it to collect a few views, open the story post and click the eye icon. This will list the names of the friends and other connections who viewed the post. Sadly, it can’t tell you how many times your name been searched on Facebook.

5. Learn Who Is Searching for You With Twitter Analytics

Twitter Analytics can help you spot who is searching for you

You can also go in-depth on Twitter to find out who is looking for you online. You probably already know that you can check the usernames of people who like or retweet your posts. Unless they have their account locked or hidden, those interactions are recorded for you to check.

But what about beyond that? Other interactions, such as people searching for you or browsing your record of tweets are not recorded. However, you can use the Twitter Analytics screen (More > Analytics) to learn more. This displays your top tweets and top followers. While not hugely revealing, it might be useful to spot a follower you were otherwise unaware of – perhaps an indicator of someone who is searching for you online.

6. Is Long Lost Family Searching for You?

Is someone searching for you through your family tree

Mawkish long-lost family reunions are TV ratings gold. They’re also often responsible for people trying to track down distant (or estranged) relatives for a reunion after many years. Various websites exist that can be used to track you and your family down under the auspices of “family research”.

For example, adoption search sites (such as www.adopted.com) can be used to trace you, or your remote siblings. While no adoption agency would allow contact with individuals without permission, registering with one of these sites involves submitting consent.

Meanwhile, genealogy research behemoth www.ancestry.com has a vast database that could theoretically be used to track your current whereabouts.

Related: Sites for Researching Your Family Tree

Sadly, like many of the tools we’ve mentioned here, Ancestry can be misused. As an Ancestry member you receive notification if you have been added to other family trees. However, you cannot tell if anyone has checked yours or your ancestors’ details. It is possible to put a lock on your record, however, to prevent access by unrelated parties.

7. Obituaries and Death Notices

Interestingly, a death and subsequent announcement can show people where you are. Too busy being dead to care?

What if it was the passing of a loved one? Your mention in their obituary or death notice in the local press, replicated for the online edition, could place a big “I am here” notice over your head. There are many people who share names, common and uncommon. Perhaps it won’t matter. But it’s worth taking care. After all, this information might be the last piece in the puzzle for someone trying to track you down.

It’s worth considering that the announcement of births and marriages in the press can also alert people to your location.

Use Alerts and Stay Aware!

People are always looking for you, be it friends, family, even fans. On the other hand, it might be debt collectors, potential employers, or even criminals.

There is no way to know who searched for you, so the smart option is to manage all interest in you. Several options are open to people trying to find you:

  • Google search
  • People finding websites like PeekYou
  • Social networks like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram
  • Professional networking tools such as LinkedIn
  • Public record and genealogy sites
  • Obituary and death notices of relatives

Meanwhile, if you’re looking for someone online, all you need to do is follow a few simple steps. If the person you’re looking for is online, you’ll probably find them.

How to Find Information on Someone Online: 7 Simple Steps

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