Tracking your inbox seems to go on forever some days. Between work, your personal life, and all that spam, you might have hundreds of emails to go through.
Is spam getting you down? Do something about it. Spending a little time once will save you from clicking “trash” all day. Tap or click to learn five easy ways to stop spam.
When it comes to tracking down an old friend or finding the contact details of a potential business partner, reaching them by phone can be your first step. Tap or click to discover all of the best ways to find someone’s cell phone number.
If you cross out, turn to email. Maybe you mistyped someone’s email address or tried to track down a relative and found yourself in a bind. I can help.
1. Start with a search
It might sound obvious, but one of the best ways to find an email address is to quickly search for it online. If a search like “John Smith” + “e-mail” does not return any results, there are several other ways to do it.
When you use quotes in your search, it tells Google to search for that entire phrase. In the example above, the results will only be displayed for John Smith. A regular search can produce results related to many people named Johns and tons of Smiths.
You can also try to guess which email provider the person is using. Try searching for “John Smith” + “gmail.com” or “yahoo.com”. Also include the company the person works for, such as “John Smith” + “Acme Inc.” + “email”.
►Google like a pro: Seven tips for finding exactly what you’re looking for
2. Use a site like white pages or web directories
Usually when I talk about online directories it is advice on how to opt out. These sites put together a ton of information that you might not want accessible to just anyone.
Tap or click to remove yourself from all the major people search sites. Be careful and follow the instructions carefully; they are trying to cheat you. Never pay to delete your information.
If you’re the one doing the research, it’s worth seeing what you can find. With WhitePages.com, you can find cell phone numbers, addresses, business details, relatives, and property details. It might not give you the email address, but it will definitely give you more information to work with.
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Hunter.io allows you to search for an email address in a business domain and list it with information written for business contacts. If you find the person you are looking for, it will give you a good idea of their email address. A free account will provide you with 25 free searches per month.
3. Try social media sites
You may find the person’s email address on their social media profiles. Some professionals will list their contact details on sites like Twitter or LinkedIn.
If you find a profile on social media, send the person a direct message. Ask if they can share their email address or how you can contact them.
►True or false: If you’re looking for someone on Facebook, they know it. Tap or click for the truth.
4. Try a plugin
Web browser plugins like Email Extractor for Chrome can help you find email addresses on web pages. Although you cannot search for email addresses with the plugin, it can extract all addresses listed on a domain.
This will make it easier to find a specific address if you know where to look. Email Extractor retrieves ids from website source code to show you hidden addresses and listed addresses in plain text.
Email Hunter is another Chrome plugin that you can try. It extracts the addresses of the pages as you visit them and automatically saves them in a notepad.
5. Make your best guess
If all else fails, guess. Truly! Most businesses use simple naming structures for addresses, such as [email protected]
By using the Hunter.io web directory, you can easily see what is the structure of a wanted business. The website shows you the most common pattern in their address when you search for a business, like (first) (last) @ acmeinc.com.
►Bonus tip: Is your boss watching your every move?
Check out my “Kim Komando Explains” podcast on Apple, Google Podcasts or your favorite podcast player.
With invasive software, businesses can track your every click, keystroke and movement, even outside of working hours. In this episode, security researcher Cooper Quintin reveals how so-called bossware works, what it tracks, and just how bad things can go when organizations use it to see everything you’re doing.
Check out all the latest tech on the Kim Komando Show, the nation’s biggest weekend radio talk show. Kim takes calls and gives advice on today’s digital lifestyle, from smartphones and tablets to online privacy and data hacking. For her daily tips, free newsletters and more, visit her website at Komando.com.
The views and opinions expressed in this column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of USA TODAY.