It’s true. You can actually find someone on Facebook without even knowing their name. In fact, I found someone on Facebook just a few weeks ago, knowing only some information about their past.
If the person you are looking for has put restrictions on their public Facebook information, you might be out of luck.
The trick here is that it all depends on the privacy settings that the user sets up in their “About” section. In some cases, the information contained in the “About” section is public, such as a phone number, previous employers, college/university or high school.
All this works using Facebook’s search bar at the top of the screen. You can also use Facebook’s advanced search, but it’s not necessary.
This is far from foolproof. Facebook has so many different privacy settings that it’s impossible to go through every scenario of when this works and when it does not, but here are some things you can try:
Maybe you are getting random emails from someone. Or you just want to see if the person you are emailing has a Facebook account. Did you know that you can type an email address in the search bar and Facebook will link you to the Facebook profile associated with that email? You can.
Similar to their email address, some people include their phone number in their “About” section. Just enter the number and, voila, you find the person. (In my experience, you can enter the number with or without the dashes.) So the next time you get some random phone calls or texts from an unknown person, this may be a good place to start.
This is a little more challenging. If you know some characteristics about the person (i.e., what school they went to, where they live) you can type them into Facebook’s search box. Obviously, if you type in Starbucks and New York City, you are going to be in for a long day.
My suggestion is to type in two unique characteristics. For example, if you know the person grew up in Tivoli, New York, and went to the University of Amsterdam, you just might be able to find them.
Keep in mind, this doesn’t work all of the time. In fact, it probably doesn’t work most of the time.
If you only know a first name and some small details about the girl you met last night, you might want to read our previous post.
So there you have it. It’s hard to believe, but you can find someone on Facebook, without even knowing their name. So the next time you you have a hazy recollection the night after … well, you can just use your imagination.
(Did you know that you can even find the Boogie Man on Facebook?)