91 incredibly useful and interesting Web sites

Whether you need to find a home, share a huge file, or throw a wicked curve with a Wiffle ball, you'll find these sites indispensable.

Sites That Find People and Their 'Sensitive' Information

We've selected the best people-finder sites out there, as well as select sites (like Glassdoor and CriminalSearches) for finding sensitive (public) information about them.

At one time or another, you might need to get the goods on a stranger, like a prospective nanny or a business contact. Public records and people-finder sites are often the place to look; we list the best ones here. These sites use cool, Web 2.0 techniques to help you locate people, then (if need be) dig deep to find the "sensitive" intel about them you need.

WhitePages.com: WhitePages and PeopleFinders are both good tools for tracking down people, their addresses, and their phone numbers, but the nod goes to WhitePages for its upcoming addition of voice and mobile capabilities.

FriendFeed: Many content sharing and social networking sites exist now — Facebook, Flickr, Twitter, and so on — and my friends seem to be spread out evenly among them. I don't have time to visit them all. FriendFeed crawls more than 40 such sites to keep you updated on the Web pages, photos, videos, and music that your friends are sharing or commenting on.

Spock: This site looks for a person's school, work, and social affiliations, then displays photos, links to social network pages, Web sites, videos, and blogs about that person.

Facebook: I know, I know, recommending such a well-known standby as Facebook is like recommending that you wear sunscreen at the beach. But, really, what social networking site is more functional, more organized, and more populous than this one?

Glassdoor: This site invites you to log in and anonymously write what you really think of the company you work for, the culture you work in (here's where you gripe about your boss), and the salary you're pulling down. Then (and only then) can you dig for some dirt on current or former coworkers and, best of all, see how much they make.

Search Systems: Public-records sites do the legwork of collecting all kinds of public records from all over the country, and then sell access to them via the Internet. Search Systems, one of the oldest and most reliable of these companies, takes a no-nonsense approach to selling access to 36,000 public-records databases from around the country. You can access marriage and death records, property records, and business permits for a $5 monthly fee, or buy the "premium" service, which includes bankruptcy and criminal records.

NETRonline (www.netronline.com): For a somewhat more hands-on approach to accessing public records, NETRonline's free public records portal is a very useful tool, with direct links to the actual county and state databases that contain the data. NETR also offers background checks and criminal-record searches, for a price.

Criminal Searches: Do you really know the people in your neighborhood? Do some of them have criminal histories, including sex-related offenses, violent crimes, and theft (or just traffic offenses, as the site also details)? Criminal Searches provides their mug shots and even plots their addresses on a map, for free.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Mark Sullivan

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Essentials

James Cook University - Master of Data Science Online Course

Learn more >

Mobile

Exec

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?