Idiot’s Guide to Stalking Online

Admit it. You stalk too. Stalking sounds like a crime but it isn’t. It used to be creepy but nowadays, stalking becomes less threatening when you do it online. It is a legitimate detective work as long as you obtain information freely without stealing the person’s passwords or hacking his account. With the aid of technology, stalking is a form of a detailed research.

Curiosity leads to stalking someone online. Stalking online or digging facts about someone’s life online is not only to feed one’s curiosity. It can help people who want to have background check for impostors, job applicants, new neighbors, criminals, and strangers. On a lighter note, it is a way of getting to know a long lost relative, a new friend, a crush in high school, a prospective girlfriend, a forgotten classmate, and, a person whom you have an affair on the internet.

Here are some steps on how you can do research online without intruding their cyber privacy.

Step 1:  Add the person as friend in Facebook or follow him/ her on Twitter. This is the easiest way to stalk. When he accepts you as a friend, it means he is willing to share his ‘self” to you but the bigger question: Are you really friends? Do you have guts to call him friend? Or do you really want him to be your friend? Or do you prefer to silently stalk him? If your answer to any of these questions is no, proceed to step 5.

Step 2: If you find that person in social network, do not take little information for granted. If the person confirmed you as friend yet his wall posts or profile is not within your reach, you can still use of whatever facts accessible to you. Even if the only available information is about his hometown and his school, you will still be successful. These two details can bring you a wealth of information.

How to use details in Facebook

  • Maximizing the little details in Facebook can enrich your stalking experience. See the fan pages she/he likes. If he likes Ms. Saigon, Repertory, Judy Dench, you can conclude he is inclined to theatre. Then later on, you can search him in Google and find out that he is a stage manager. You’ll find the shows he played, his friends, and even his true gender.
  • What to do if he hides his photos? Check his friends’ photo.

Step 3: Do not forget the links. Other people would include their blogsites or websites in their social networks’ profiles. If they include these, then you are lucky. You don’t even have to go an extra mile. All you have to do is just read what they write about themselves. This alone can suffice your interest of a particular person.

Step 4: Look for connections and find relationships. You will find out you have more than one mutual friend on the internet. Your mutual friends will tell you a lot of things about her. Getting to know how one is interconnected with another is very useful. Sometimes, you’ll never find anything particular about the one you want to stalk but his/her sister, his parent, his best friend are accessible to stalk online. Let’s say if her sister likes blogging, you’ll find things about the person you want to stalk in her blog.

Step 5: Do research on search engines

  • Try all search engines: Google, Bing, Yahoo, and others. You will find some information about the person in Yahoo that does not appear in Google.
  • When doing the research on search engine, be specific. For example, type in Carlo Riveral + University of the Philippines+ BS Biology. This will give you better results than typing Carlo Riveral alone.

Step 5: In using search engine, make a number of hypotheses. Be outrageous, be speculative, be assuming, be creative, stereotype or simply follow your instincts. Type all possible combinations of key words in the search engine and you’ll be amazed with the search engine results. For instance, you can type in her school+hobbies+blog+love, you’ll never know it might be equaled to his/her relationship status.

Step 6: Do ‘advanced search’. If the person you want to stalk is a nurse, accountant, lawyer, or engineer, looking personal information about that person can be very difficult because results of board exams rank high in search engines. Try to eliminate these facts by customizing in advanced search .

Step 7: Learn all the names the person used. The person might have a nick name, pen name, secret username, a nonsensical yahoo id. Sometimes you will find nothing on the internet with his full name yet be surprised that he is popular on the internet with his screen name.

Step 8:  Try Flickr and Youtube. Not everybody has an account in these sites unlike social network sites but you’ll never know. You’ll just be surprised to know that he has videos and photos on these sites.

Step 9: Click click and just click, you’ll never know. Type, type, type, you’ll never know. There’s nothing you would not know that Google knows.

Step 10: If you can’t be quiet, be friendly. So you met Mr. Z and you talked about surfing. He’ll probably wonder how you know he likes surfing. It does not harm to let him know that you saw photos of him in Surigao but do not reiterate the steps you did to find his photos or  other things you did just to get to know him further on the internet. Just simply say, “I came across your blog”. Otherwise, he will find you an obsessive stalker or a die-hard fan. It might seriously scare him. Unless he is a stalker like you, he’ll understand.

Take note: It’s not really stalking. It’s getting to know someone. It’s just called stalking because you do it quietly and peacefully. Besides, if you find them on the internet, it means they allow themselves to be subjects of your research.