How to Use Google to Find Phone Numbers

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There are a lot of reasons why you may want to find out who owns a phone number. It may be as simple as having a missed call that you believe is important. It can be a way to protect yourself from extortion or to block telemarketing scams. There are a number of online services that offer to search for information on a phone number, but the easiest way to address a phone number search is to use Google. And it has the added advantage of being free.

Where to Start?

Your phone rings and you take a call only to be bombed by a cold-caller who insists on getting personal information. Or you may be worried by someone who keeps hanging up. What can you do? As of 2010, Google no longer supports personal telephone or address searches. However, it is still possible to perform areverse phone lookup. What does this mean? By entering the number in Google’s search box, you will get all available data. For example, a lot of numbers have been flagged by users as telemarketing scams or extortion attempts.

When You Need More Information

You probably suspect who is calling but don’t have all the facts. In cases where your safety is at risk (for example, in domestic abuse cases), finding out who is calling is extremely important. By performing a combination of the suspected caller’s name and the number, you may confirm your suspicions and have elements to get help. If you are a victim of phone extortion or a scam, you can report ithere.

Finding Someone’s Number

You may, on the other hand, be looking for someone’s specific number. Google is useful in order to find a phone number if you have other information about the person you are trying to locate. For example, you can get an office number by searching for their name and place of work. Be aware of the fact that people value their privacy, and it is protected by law. If someone opted not to share their phone number with you, refrain from calling them. You may even be the subject of a harassment lawsuit.

Your Number

If you are getting a lot of unwanted calls, your number may have been made public. Search for your name and number to find out where your information is displayed. The problem with your number being public is that it can be a door to access other information such as your personal address or place of work, which can be risky.  Because of privacy laws, you have the right to ask for your information to be taken down. TheFederal Communications Commissionregulates privacy matters regarding phone calls. In order to protect yourself, it is best not to share your personal number via social media. If you need to share a number on a job board, you may prefer to get a Google Voice number that keeps your personal information private.

Protecting Children

Finding a number on Google can also be a way to protect your children. If they have a phone and are getting unwanted calls, or you see calls from numbers you do not recognize, you need to take immediate action. Bullying also happens via phone calls, and predators can be luring them to agree to a meeting. Depending on their age, you can establish parental controls that block any number that is not part of their address book, but with older kids, open communication is the best course of action.Cyberbullyinghas a tremendous impact on children and some organizations are even calling it public health issue so it is extremely important to protect their privacy. 

The internet, and specifically Google, is a great tool. But it also poses threats when it comes to privacy. A periodic search of your personal information –like your phone number– is a good way to remain safe. 

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