Searching For You

Do Free Phone Lookups Exist?

Nov 28, 2018 |

iPhone reverse cell phone lookup

 

Readers often ask if it’s possible to look up phone numbers for free. Many sites offer free White Pages, cell phone numbers or reverse lookups. However, what they deliver is bad information, limited information, or require payment for a premium service. Some sites refer you to a separate paying site. In effect, I have never found a completely free site or app with complete and accurate information. Don’t despair. There are several efficient and accurate apps that will supply the information you seek. Some are more expensive and more difficult to use so it is wise to request a trial before committing to a membership. Popular sites include CallerSmart, BeenVerified, Intelius, and Spokeo.

What Free Phone Lookup Apps Offer

Not all apps are created equal, and some are better than others. I have done extensive research on free apps using known information. It is common to receive bad or incomplete information. I have routinely encountered the following issues:

  1. Faulty or Outdated Information

Approximately 50% of the information found on free phone lookup sites is outdated or incorrect. I searched my personal information and received an address from 12 years ago. There were ancient phone numbers and a list of relatives and associates that are complete strangers to me. I have used the same process on at least five other people with the same results.

  1. Lack of Address

Many sites mask the address unless you pay for premium service.

  1. No Cell Phone Number

Complete cell phone directories are practically non-existent. Directories that exist are incomplete and are not up to date.

  1. No Reverse Lookup

I use an iPhone reverse cell phone lookup app on a regular basis. Unknown callers clog my phone daily and I want to search the numbers. Free sites will offer to look up the number but give old information or require you to pay for the caller’s name and location.

Why Isn’t it Free?

The sites that offer free information get it from other websites. They make no investment in obtaining or culling information. They simply share a database. Sites that offer accurate information must pay to keep the information current, therefore they pass the fee along to the end user. If you require up to date information and the ability to do a reverse lookup, spend a few dollars and be sure the results are correct.

Why Use Image Search?

Nov 1, 2018 |

 

Google Image Search

 

Image searches are quickly becoming part of everyday life. We use them to look at the latest fashions, find family or friends, or learn the name of a snazzy car we saw on the street. No longer do we have to wonder about anything. Simply snap and upload a picture to one of a dozen image search sites or apps.

How Does it Work?

Most tech savvy people are familiar with image searches. It is a specialized search used to locate digital images. There are several ways to conduct an image search.

  • Image meta search – search of digital images based on metadata including keywords, text, etc.
  • Content-Based Image Retrieval (CBIR) – the application used colors, shapes, and textures to identify images rather than relying on keywords and text.

In simple terms, an application or website can use algorithms to identify parts of a photograph and relate them to like content online. The system takes the guesswork out of attempting to find a person or item using keywords. For example, if you see a photograph on a website and want to learn more about the item, you can use an image search to get the name, photographer, or other important information. If a dress in a store window catches your eye, you can take a photo and perform a search that will tell you the name of the designer or other stores in your area or online that carry the item. The goal of many image search companies is to allow their users to search items via pictures rather than words, which may result in irrelevant answers.

Uses

Aside from identifying a piece of clothing, image searches can be beneficial for other reasons. Image searches can help you to:

  • Locate the source of an image
  • Find a higher resolution version of the image
  • Get links to web pages where the image appears
  • Locate the content creator
  • Get more information about the image
  • Search identity of persons online
  • Find products and services
  • Search artwork
  • Research travel destinations

Sites

Just as iPhone phone number trace services continue to expand, image search developers continue to create bigger and better search engines to entice users to buy their products. Image search engines have recently enabled extensions to be added to browsers to make searching even easier. One click of a button can net the user information on products all over the Internet. Current extensions include Noobox for Chrome and “Search by Image” for Firefox. Each allows you to right-click on an image and choose between different reverse-image tools.

Some popular sites:

Google Images

Google’s Search by Image allows users to search for images by uploading an image retrieved from a website or by entering an image URL. The system compares the image with billions of other images located in Google’s databases before returning results.

Google Lens

Google has released a new way to search images. The new app for Android and IOS utilizes a powerful search engine to give users information on items around them. Not only does it identify the image, but adds relevant data that might be of interest to the user. This app is similar to Google Goggles.

TinEye

TinEye is a top search engine that specializes in reverse image searches. The user submits an image to the app, and then TinEye creates a “unique and compact digital signature or fingerprint” of the image before matching it to like images.

Pinterest

Pinterest is at the forefront of the image search field. In 2014, it acquired VisualGraph and introduced the ability to conduct image searches on its site. By using reverse image search technology, Pinterest can extract features from fashion items, e.g., pants, shoes, bags, dress, glasses, jewelry, shorts, swimsuits, and offer product recommendations on items that are similar.

eBay

eBay ShopBot uses a reverse image search to locate products by interpreting a user’s uploaded photo.

Yandex

Russia’s answer to Bing’s search engine will often give comprehensive results although they tend to be more similar than exact in identifying items.

Mobile Searches

The best image search engines work well on a desktop or laptop computer, but are often lacking when it comes to mobile devices. The upload feature may be disabled, or the pictures will not upload. There are some image search engine titans who are building search features into apps to make the process less painful. Until then, users may have to try their luck, use the desktop version of the sites or turn on their computers.

Free or Pay?

Many image search engines are free, but there are some that charge a small fee, either to search a specific item or as a monthly membership. Read the fine print before you search to avoid any surprises.

Searching For Family and Friends

Aug 30, 2018 |

Family Reunions

Nearly everyone has someone that they’ve lost touch with over the years, whether it’s a classmate, neighbor, aunt, love interest or favorite teacher. Searching for those we’ve lost touch with is made easier through technology. While tracking down those that have moved away might not be easy, searching for family and friends could be just a click away.

Phone Apps

Searching through phone apps for information can be arduous unless you pick the right one. Be cautious of those that claim free services and then ask for credit card information. An iPhone cell number lookup can be helpful when it comes to searching for phone numbers or addresses, given you know the area in which your target resides or works.

Search Engines

Google, Bing and other search engines are fountains of information when searching for old acquaintances or lost loved ones. Find work related posts, social media information, addresses, or phone numbers.

Social Media

Millions of people use social media sites like Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Reddit, and LinkedIn, making it easier than ever before to find those absent from your life. These sites make it easy to connect and save you the potential awkwardness of making a phone call or an in-person visit. Additionally, social media allows you to share information and photos that reach across the miles.

Keep in mind that when searching for someone on certain social media sites, the person you are searching may find out about the request. If you want to keep it private, choose another method first.

Reconnecting with Friends

Message Boards

Message boards may seem a bit outdated when searching for someone, but they still work. Boards attached to specific interest sites, public news sites, family locator, or genealogy sites have a lot to offer.

School Yearbook Sites

There are people in certain occupations that do not use social media or have their contact information in search engines. In that case, checking out their school yearbook site may yield the answer. If not, it may be easy to connect with a mutual friend or classmate who knows how to get in touch.

Finding Family Members

Relatives

Searching for your long-lost great aunt? Chances are she may not be on social media or any of the search engines. While genealogy sites could help, your best bet may be to contact your relatives and ask if they know how to contact Great Aunt Bessie. Technology is still your friend when it comes to finding her phone number or locating her house, and who knows? Maybe you’ll start sharing photos and stories online.

Background Check         

This option seems invasive for a standard search, but there are plenty of background check websites ready to give up personal information on almost anyone for a price. Background checks usually include a phone number, work history, known associates and relatives, and criminal history. It might be good information to have but telling the long-lost friend or family member that you ran a background check probably won’t go over too well. You may want to use it as a last resort.

How to Protect Your Information

Dec 16, 2017 |

With more and more data breaches happening every year millions of Americans information was put at risk. You need to be on high alert for potential phishing scams. We’ll go over the best ways to protect yourself.

Monitor Your Credit Scores

Make an effort to check your credit scores every so often, doing so will allow you catch any sort of funny activity. If your credit score quickly changes, you can be sure that someone has most likely gotten ahold of your information and has been using your identity.

Be On Alert for Phishing Scams

Phishing scams are how scammers fill in the blanks when they have pieces of information about you. In the form of phone calls or emails, phishing scams will try to trick you into think they are coming from reputable companies, like PayPal or your bank.

The best way to protect yourself from these types of scams is to avoid unsolicited calls and hang up on callers that are asking for important and sensitive financial information. Use a iPhone caller ID to help you filter out unwanted phone calls. With emails, be sure to check for spelling mistakes and take a close look at the links included.

Additionally, avoid opening any files attached to emails that aren’t from trusted contacts. Files could potentially infect your device with hazardous malware.

Use Stronger Passwords

Passwords these days for your online accounts need to be strong and unique. This can be really difficult though. One thing that is recommended is using a sentence for a password, but this can get complicated and annoying if you frequently need to change it.

The best thing to do is use a password vault. There are many to choose from, one good one is LastPass. With LastPass you can generate and store strong and unique passwords for each of your online accounts. You can even share access to some of your accounts.

 

Online Dating Apps And Reverse Phone Lookups

Oct 10, 2017 |

Dating apps have become quite popular recently. You may even know couples that have met via online dating apps and are now married! If you’re a single person and looking to meet a new person, you need to try online dating. However, it’s important to verify the identity of the person that you’re going to meet. The best way to do this is by running a reverse phone lookup on the person you’re going on a date with.

We’ll go over the best ways to stay safe with online dating and get the most out of it.

How To Choose The Right Dating App

There are many options for dating apps and it’s important that you pick the right one. Once you feel that you’ve found the right app you’ll need to make a profile.

After this you’ll start matching with and talking to new people in your area. It’s important for you to keep yourself safe when meeting people in person.

Reverse Phone Lookups And Dating

Oftentimes the first piece of information that you’ll exchange with a new person you’re chatting with is your phone number.

You can then use a phone number to verify the identity of the person and make sure they are who they say they are. This can be done simply by using an app for unknown number look ups to search for information on a phone number.

Meeting In Person

Once you’ve talked to a person enough to get to know them you may decide to meet in person. It’s always best to meet in a public place with the person.

Make sure you take your own transportation in case you ever feel uncomfortable and want to leave. Trust your intuition and if you don’t feel good about the situation, leave.

It’s most important to be safe when using online dating, so use your best judgement.