The internet is a strange place. It can feel both incredibly large and incredibly small – sometimes all at once. This is especially true when you’re being targeted online by someone online through cyberstalking, defamatory social media posts, revenge posts against your business or other attempts to destroy your reputation and your life.
How do you even fight back against internet defamation when the email accounts being used aren’t ones that you recognize? After all, you can’t sue someone if you can’t figure out who they are, right? Fortunately, you have resources out there that you may not even realize are available.
Ways to find someone’s real identity through their email
It can take a little bit of practice when you start internet sleuthing, but here are some tips that may make it easier:
- Look carefully at the email address: Some people are very good at creating “throwaway” email accounts – but a lot of people are creatures of habit. Instead of using something randomly generated, the email may be some variation of the sender’s actual name or tied so strongly to their occupation or hobby that you can literally guess who they are.
- Do a reverse email search: Open the header of that email and look for a set of numbers in brackets. Using a trace-route tool, you can at least help you determine the other party’s rough location, which can provide more clues.
- Search social media: Facebook, LinkedIn and other social networks let you look for someone via their email alone. If the other party has used that email address as a “backup” in case they got banned from some social site, you may easily be able to track them down.
- Make use of online tools: Social Catfish and BeenVerified are two popular sites that will help you aggregate all the information that’s tied to any given email account. You may be able to discover everything from their real name to other social media accounts and emails they use.
When your life has been negatively affected by untrue, unflattering and inflammatory online action, it may be time to get more experienced legal guidance.