Email is short for ‘Electronic Mail’. It is the exchange of electronic messages and computer files through a telecommunications network such as the internet or mobile device.
An email address is a series of letters, words and symbols that identify a user so that he/she can receive Internet email messages. An email address usually consists of a name that identifies the user to the mail server, followed by an @ sign and the host name and domain name of the mail server. The standard format is [email protected] name (for example [email protected]).
What Do Private Detectives need to know?
There are billions of email addresses in the world that generate trillions of emails each year. A recent study noted that 72% of people who use email have more than one account. Private investigators need to know how to look up email addresses, how to run a reverse search and match an email address to a name, when possible. In addition, private investigators need to know how to decipher the key components of an email message, especially the headers and how to trace the path of an email.
Resources for Finding Someone’s Email Address
Following are resources for email address searches, conducting reverse email address searches, or learning about types of accounts and service providers. Most are free email address search tools, while others are available for a small fee.
Find An Email Address Instantly – Conduct a quick search using this simple online tool.
- Addresses.com– Addresses.com is one of the largest e-mail address search database and directory on the web. They provide various methods of searching using phone numbers, e-mail and home addresses. The site also allows users to search for businesses, zip codes, area codes, schools and even persons.
- AnyWho Find People– AnyWho allows users to easily look up phone numbers, physical addresses, and E-mail searches.
- Email Finder– EmailFinder and URLFinder appeared in March, 1997 as the only on-line database services designed to link old Email and Website addresses with current information.
- Reunion.com– Reunion.com is not a search site, but may be a helpful place to look for people. Use the website to reconnect with old friends, reunite with classmates, find family members, track down lost loves, military buddies, etc.
- Spokeo.com – Spokeo aggregates information about people from different public records sources and then compiles all this information into a single report that is easy to use and understand.
- Switchboard– Switchboard can be used to find Email Addresses using an online search form. Now owned by Whitepages.com.
- WhoWhere– The WhoWhere database is an advanced yellow page search tool for finding business and company contact information, locations and directions.
- ZabaSearch– ZabaSearch is an easy to us search engine that provides a variety of public record search tools. This site is one of our favorites.
Email Service Providers
- AOL Email – Service from the once popular America Online.
- GMail – Gmail is built on the idea that email can be more intuitive, efficient, and useful. Gmail offers free email accounts.
- Hotmail– Microsoft Hotmail free email account. Windows Live Hotmail – The new Hotmail brings you more. More space (5 GB), more security, and it is still free.
- Inbox– Send & receive attachments up to 20MB, easily organize your messages, quickly find archived messages, view full conversations, compose and read messages even when you’re not online and much more.
- Mail.com – Free service with free forwarding. Many interesting addresses to choose from
- Yahoo– Yahoo! Mail is a free web mail service provided by Yahoo!. It is currently the largest web-based email service, followed closely by its competitor Windows Live Hotmail.
Tips from the Pros: Getting Better Search Results
- Start by doing a simple Google search. Google won’t dig down into the data on these various sites, but a person’s email address may show up on a social media profile, a website, in a comment box, in an article, a chat room, or elsewhere. A Google search should be a part of any search effort due to its broad indexing of web content.
- Use various sites and databases to access different sets of data. The information you’re looking for may not be found on one site, but may come up on another.
- Try to enter as much information as possible in the search form. It’s ok to enter partial information if that is all you have. For example, you may know that someone’s first initial is “J”. Try searching for that first initial and the last name. Also, try leaving the first name blank.
- Try variations of a person’s name. If a subject’s first name is Joseph, try searching for Joseph and Joe.
- If the name is hyphenated, try searching with and without the hyphen.
- Consider looking for family members, relatives, friends and known associates. Sometimes, you might be able to locate someone by getting in touch with someone who knows them.
If you know of any other resources that may be helpful, please leave a comment below.