Last Updated: July 21, 2021
They say you give up your privacy once you join the world of social media. And they might be right.
Your email address is like a passport used to hop on the never-ending train of social media. Change your email address, and you may find yourself spending an unexpected amount of time re-registering on your favorite online services.
Here’s the main takeaway: People usually have one email that’s linked to most of their online accounts, including social media. This key part of the puzzle makes it easy for anyone to find social media profiles by email address free of charge.
This article will explain where and how to do email lookups for free, as well as how to use the process to identify fraud.
Can One Find Social Media Profiles by Email Addresses Free of Charge?
The short answer is yes. An individual’s email address is usually all you need to discover social data on them, whether it’s before an important meeting or a scheduled job interview. However, there’s a tricky part too.
It’s more challenging to unearth online accounts themselves than finding social information about the person in question. However, it’s still doable. Needless to say, if the person you’re looking for doesn’t use that email on any social media platform, then the search will likely produce zero results.
In most cases, though, anyone with an internet connection is just a few clicks away from finding someone’s social media via an email search.
How Does It Work?
The following process essentially checks if a person has used a certain email address to sign up for any social media service.
Users of social media networks such asLinkedIn, Facebook, or Twitter sometimes have their data public. They choose to make some – or all – of their information public on purpose, to ensure people can reach them easily, or unknowingly, by failing to check and adjust their permission settings.
This publicly available information is called social data and anyone can access it, sometimes even without an account on the targeted platform.
Generally, there are two ways to find someone by email for free. First, you can type in the email ID in the search bar on a given social media platform and comb through the results to find the person. Needless to say, this is usually a long and tedious process.
Another way, though, is using so-called email lookup tools. All they ask from you is to type in the email address and then they do the rest of the work. These tools aggregate publicly available social data from one or more social media networks and run the email ID through their database.
There are also people search sites, also known as “data brokers,” who collect private information from a vast list of public sources and then publish or sell it.
You may find information such as:
- Full name
- Profile/Avatar picture
- Other registration details such as phone numbers
- Social affinities
- Employment history
- Current job
Remember, you can use an email address to find profiles but this largely depends on two things. First, the person’s privacy settings. If they did not make their information available to the public, then search tools may not be able to find them.
Is It Legal to Search Through Social Media?
Conducting a social media account search, most of the time, is legal.. The most crucial aspect of searching through social media is that you’re only seeking public data, such as open source databases. Private information is off limits.
It’s also important to consider the reason behind the search.
What Counts as Legal:
- Looking for a friend or a family member: People usually resort to email lookups if they want to get in touch with a relative they haven’t heard from in years, or a long-lost high-school friend. They also sometimes go through background check sites for dating.
- Checking on neighbors and verifying any information about them; this extends to any new friends as well.
What is Considered Illegal:
- Stalking: Cyberstalking or obsessively monitoring an individual or group online is prohibited under law. In many jurisdictions, stalking is a criminal offense. The assailant can end up facing criminal penalties such as a restraining order, probation, oreven jail.
A social network search by email for hiring purposes is legal, but there are rules!
Employees often visit background checks sites to find out as much as possible about a potential candidate. The issue, though, is that the person who is doing the background check on a potential employee may ostensibly come across protected class information, which they are not allowed to use in the hiring process.
How to Recognize Fraud
Given how social media has become an integrated part of our lives, it’s no wonder there are so many fraudulent accounts. Social media platforms work around the clock to remove them, but as of now, they still haven’t found the right formula to make fake accounts magically disappear.
Running an email through software for a social media account search is the first step to figuring out whether the account is fraudulent. If the search returns zero results, for instance, then the account is clearly riskier.
Top Software Pieces/Extensions
There are plenty of tools online that can help you search social media by email address.
ManyContacts is a web-based tool that works within Gmail. If you open your Gmail account in a web browser and hover over any contact in your address book, you will see the social media accounts connected to that email. You can click on any of those profiles, which will take you directly to that website.
Lullar is a website that lets you find all social media accounts belonging to a person by email for free. To look up an email on Lullar, click on “people search by email or name,” type in the email address, and wait for the Lullar to comb through its social media database.
Once it does, it will show you a list of social media networks where the email address has been used to create an account.
Lullar is an excellent tool to discover where to find a person’s social data. It’s quick and most importantly, it doesn’t charge anything for the service.
FullContact is a software application that allows you to search for a person or company against its massive database. If you want to find someone on all social networks free of charge, you can look up that person by entering their email address, Twitter handle, or contact number.
What’s unique about FullContact is that it’s set up as an API (Application Programming Interface), so it might be more challenging to use for those unfamiliar with programming.
You have to create an account on their website and generate an API Key by clicking on “Query the API Now.” With the key, you can query the API right away.
One of its best features is that it only counts the query if it’s a match, so it never charges for the wrong result.
FullContact allows for a free social media search by email. You can find up to 100 matches a month without a paid subscription. It also has paid subscriptions, including the FullContact Starter plan at$99/mo.The Plus plan is $299/mo., and for theEnterprise plan, you would have to contact the company’s team.
ClearBit is an enrichment software that gathers social data from various online sources, not just social media platforms. It fetches data such as social media accounts and personal, educational, and professional information.
To look up social media accounts by email on ClearBit, you have to create an account. When you finish registering, enter the person’s email address in the search bar and the enrichment software will extract a batch of information, including any online accounts.
ClearBit stands out as a tool that presents information in real-time so it’s always fresh and relevant.
The company offers a free trial and offers monthly and annual subscriptions.
Social media platforms have become modern town squares. Almost everyone is there, sharing pictures, important life events, and expressing their opinions. With the current tools available – including those listed above – it’s never been easier to find someone’s social media accounts only with an email address.
There are tools for that as well. You can try a manual search on some of the social media platforms, where the person’s email may be displayed in their “About” section. If that person owns a business, look for their official website.
Simply log on to the social media network in question and look up the person’s name. If the individual is using a pseudonym, try finding the profile of a mutual friend or an associate. If you have their email address, then the fastest way to find them is to use tools to find social media profiles by email address free of charge.
Try a simple Google search or a Google image search with the person’s name. If you already know one of their social media profiles, check for any linked accounts. Your chances would be higher with an email address or phone number which should be directly plugged into the search field on the targeted social media platform.