Warriors, don’t you just love technology? We can communicate almost instantly with anyone around the globe at any time. We can learn almost anything we want to know at the tips of our fingers. We can find old friends and make new ones. Shoot, my truck even emailed me this week! She said she needs windshield washer fluid. Isn’t that incredible?
Let’s put technology to good use! I certainly did. If you’ve read my story, you know that my soon to be ex-husband was spending time (and nights) with other women. I followed him one evening when he had arranged a dinner with one of his girlfriends. They came out of the restaurant and she was stupid enough to walk right past my truck, get into her car and allow me to follow her straight home. (Please don’t be that stupid! I’ll have more posts about following people and making sure you’re not followed!)
It took me about 15 minutes, sitting in my truck on the street across from her house, to learn the following:
- her name
- her telephone number
- whether or not the house was in her name
- the tax value on that property and how much she paid each year in taxes
- how many vehicles she had in her name and how much she paid each year in vehicle taxes
- where she worked
- her Facebook, LinkdIn and Google pages
- whether or not she was married
- whether or not she had children
- how many times she had been married/divorced
- whether or not my ex was using his personal cellphone to communicate with her
- her email address
Now I know that I’m an experienced paralegal and know how to track those Internet fingerprints, but it’s not difficult. All you need are the right tools. Here are my favorite apps and websites – the ones I personally use:
BeenVerified.com – This website does charge a monthly fee, but if you need information on people it’s SO worth it. You can search this site by email, name, address, and, telephone number. If you can get any of those, you can find out who they relate to. My membership is less than $20.00 a month, and it’s also great if you’re dating or have children whose friends you want to check out.
The site provides “AKA” names, addresses connected to people, spouses, relatives, social media profiles, criminal histories, etc. The only caveat with this site (as with others) is that cell phones change owners – sometimes the information relating to phone numbers is not accurate. That’s just a fact of cell phone life. So, don’t count phone number ownership as an absolute with this site and others. All in all, this is my favorite “people checker” website.
HiYa and Mr. Number – These apps are free and basically do the same thing. They make it easy to find out who is connected to any phone number you enter. (The same cell phone ownership caveat goes here too – the info is not always reliable.) It’s easy to copy and paste from your phone into the apps too. They can block spam and marketing callers as well. From my experience with them, they are interchangeable. They run off the same databases so the info you get from one is the same as the info from another. Great help when you need it, and because it’s on your phone or your tablet, you can get info on the run.
SlyDial – How do I love this app? Let me count the ways!! This free app calls directly into voicemail so you don’t risk having the person answer. Brilliant, huh??? I know – you’re wondering how this is helpful, right? Here’s the thing: Let’s say there’s a number on someone’s phone that you don’t recognize so you plug the number into BeenVerified.com, Hiya or Mr. Number and they come up empty with no information. Channel your inner Private Investigator and whip out your phone. Pull up SlyDial and enter the number. After a short ad (for SlyDial itself) cause it’s a free app and they have to make money somehow, your call goes directly to their outgoing voicemail message.
You might hear the canned outgoing message from their provider OR you might hear, “Hi this is Marie. I can’t come to the phone right now so please leave a message.” If you’re really lucky you might get a first and last name or if the person has a business, you might get a business name. Then you just hang up. The best part – they never know you called so your number isn’t logged in their phone! Like I said, “Brilliant, huh?“!!!
So far we’ve been talking about apps and sites that are perfectly legal to use in order to gather information. The next software you have to consider very carefully before using. It’s keystroke logging software. Some software can be remotely downloaded and others require that you have access to the device. Most can be installed on phones, tablets, laptops and desktops.
Keylogger apps and software do just that – log the keystrokes on a computer, phone or tablet. Whenever you log into the interface online, you can see exactly what someone has typed including passwords, texts, emails, etc. Some keyloggers even email you an alert if you set up certain hot words to track.
Keyloggers are NOT LEGAL unless you own the computer or device! These raise the same privacy issues as GPS trackers and voice recorders so beware! Most of the companies with these tools state on their websites that they are to be used only to monitor employees or children but really, who are they kidding?!?! They know how their products are being used!
My favorite keystroke logging software is from Spyrix. They have different versions – some are free and some you have to buy. What I like about this particular brand is they offer:
- Remote monitoring via the Internet
- Live viewing – you can see exactly what’s happening when it’s happening
- Antivirus software cannot find it – it is totally invisible which lowers the chances of being discovered
- It captures passwords and usernames
- You can uninstall the software remotely so you don’t have to have access to the device
- The interface is user friendly and easy to navigate
And if you are concerned that a keylogger might be on one of your devices, just Google “keylogger blocking” and find software that will enable you to secure your device.
Last but most certainly not least and even though I hate, hate, hate how it invades our privacy, there’s nothing better than Google for gathering information. That’s where I always start. Type in a name or a phone number and go from there. I started with just an address on that night in May, 2017. Like I said, in 15 minutes I had more information than you can imagine.
Of course, the more you use these tools, the more adept you become at gathering the information you’re looking for. These tools are enough for most people to find what they need. If not, it helps to have an acquaintance who works for the government … but that’s another story for another day!