Flip's Search Resources
Flip's Email Resources - How To Find Someone's Email Address
Below is a description of some of the tools available for finding people's email addresses or finding someone through their email address. Please tell me about any other items you think belong on this page.
 
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How to Find Someone's Email

Finding someone's e-mail address is a hit or miss proposition. There are many tools that you can use to find an email address. If you already have the email address, you can use these tools to find the owner's name, street address and home phone number. First, it is important to understand the structure of an email address. Email addresses typically have the form of persons_name@isp.com. The part that comes after the @ sign, isp.com, is the domain name and the part the comes before the @ sign is the user name. Knowing this, you can start using the tools. Below is an explanation of each of these tools:

Reverse Directories (Use a reverse directory when you have the email address.)

Finger: Also known as reverse email, finger is the internet command that is equivalent to asking the e-mail server, "Who owns this address?" Many e-mail servers have ownership listings associated with the e-mail address and will give that information to you when you Finger them. This information is only as good as the administrator who entered it. As an example, if you were to finger my e-mail address, my internet service provider would return my name, John Seymour, and my city, Renton, WA. Your probably thinking, "Wow this is easy." Not so fast. While this might seem helpful, I don't live in Renton, WA. That is the location of the e-mail server. I live somewhere else entirely. The other shortcoming of "Finger" is that many of the larger ISP's don't support it. In that case, there isn't much you can do with the "Finger" Command.

Directories: Most of the directories are a combination of member's addresses, databases that the directories have bought and the command, finger. When the directory fails to find a match in its database, the directory will do a finger. This information is then provided to you and could be just as good or bad as simply doing a finger yourself.

Whois: Whois is the internet command that is equivalent to asking, "Who owns this domain name?" This can be helpful if the person you are looking for is the web master for a personal domain name or if you want to lodge a complaint with the internet service provider's network administrator who runs the email server. This can be helpful when you are looking to complain about spamming or online harassment. You simply enter the domain name and the Network Solution's WHOIS database information comes up. You can then contact the network administrator directly.

Email Address Finders (If you have a name, you can find the email address)

Directories: Most of the directories are a combination of member's addresses, databases that the directories have bought and a search of email addresses that might fit. When the directory fails to find an exact match in its database, the directory will look for email addresses that may match. Examples of email addresses that might match for Flip Seymour: you may get back flips@isp.com, flipseymour@big.net and seymourf@notlikely.org. If you are really desperate to contact someone, you could always send an email to everyone listed and hope that one of them is the right one. When I was doing my birth-parent search, I was able to find my birth-dad's email address by searching Compuserve's directory. I was lucky.


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Email Flip Flip Seymour, Last Updated January 9th, 2011. First published 1995