An alias is an assumed name. On the Internet, people often use aliases when they register for social networking sites, such as Facebook, to protect their privacy. You might come across aliases in people's online profiles or perhaps through their comments on a blog. There are free search engines that let you easily search who's associated with an alias on specific social networking sites (such as Facebook), on multiple networking sites concurrently, or in a more comprehensive search that also includes websites, photo sites and blogs. For a fee, you also can hire a private investigator to research who's behind an alias name.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
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Look up aliases on Facebook. Go to Facebook.com, and click the "Find Friends" link at the bottom right of the web page. Under "Search for People" in the middle of the page, enter the alias name in the box, and click the blue search button (with the magnifying glass icon). The results web page shows all Facebook accounts with that alias name. Click on an account link to view a high-level image of that profile page (which shows friends of the alias, as well as links to applications and websites). To see full profiles, you must sign in with your own Facebook account.
Search multiple social networking sites. There are search engines, such as Whoozy, that let you look up an alias in multiple social networking sites at the same time. Go to Whoozy.com, enter the alias name in the search box, and press the "Search" button. The results web page displays any instance of that alias appearing in Whoozy, Twitter, LinkedIn and more. To view the listings of that alias in any of these sites, click the plus-sign button next to it.
Conduct a web search. YoName lets you search for an alias in multiple social networking sites, blogs and websites. Go to Yoname.com, enter the alias name in the search box, and press the "Yo!" button. The results web page lists found instances of that alias. To read more about each listing, click the "View Profile" link.
Look up online photos. Facesaearch, powered by Google, lets you look up online photos associated with any given name, including aliases. Go to Facesaearch.com, enter the alias name, and press the "Search" button. On the results web page, move your mouse over the photos to display the names associated with each photo, and click on any photo to bring it to the forefront.
Tips and warnings
- If you're looking for a more in-depth alias search, such as finding who is living under an assumed identity or conducting business under a bogus name, consider hiring a private investigator. Investigators have expertise and resources to trace alias names and business names. To find a qualified investigator, contact your state professional private investigator association. PI Magazine has an online listing of state associations on its website.
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