The Increasingly Popular Pastime On Social Media
- University of Virginia
- Wichita Technical Institute
Creeping refers to “stalking” someone on social media, which typically means checking them out or following what’s going on in their life on , Twitter, or LinkedIn. It’s not as creepy as it sounds. Creeping just means browsing their timeline, status updates, tweets, and various online bios to find out more about them.
Facebook creeping is a cultural phenomenon and particularly popular pastime, especially with young people. It was called “stalking” in the early days of Facebook but more often now is known as “creeping,” a word that carries a gentler connotation and is not associated with criminal activity, as stalking can be. It’s not nearly as offensive as real-world stalking, but is still a bit controversial, even though it’s an increasingly common activity.
The verb “creeping” literally means to move slowly and cautiously, often so as not to be noticed or detected by others. People sometimes say a person “creeps down the hallway,” for example, when they mean tip-toed or walked quietly.
This concept of doing something without other people noticing goes to the heart of why checking people out on Facebook has come to be called “creeping” or “Internet creeping.” It’s because the social network’s interface allows people to check each other out without notifying that user that someone else is looking at or has looked at their timeline or personal profile area.
How To Find Anyone Online
Everyone wants to find other people online. Whether its an old sweetheart or a high school teacher or just a friend youve lost touch with, searching online is a very effective way at getting started on making that reconnection. Ill discuss several of the best ways to find people.
Everyones basic tool is a Google search, and while Google searches have their limitations they are an excellent place to start, and a significant portion of the time, a Google search will get you the information you need. Remember that with Google, the more relevant keywords you can provide, the better your chances of getting a search result that is meaningful. To use the Mary Smith example, searching for just Mary Smith returns more than 850,000,000 results. Theres no way that your Mary Smith is going to be on the first pageor the first 100 pages. You have to narrow it down. Did you and Mary grow up together in Rochester, New York? Did she attend Brighton High? Do you know that she planned to be a veterinarian when she graduated? Searching for Mary Smith Rochester New York Brighton High veterinarian cuts the results down to about 669,000 still a lot, but weve reduced the potential results by a factor of more than 1000. Putting Mary Smith and Brighton High in their own quotes cuts it further down to less than 5000 results.
Protecting Your Privacy Online
So what can you do to keep these kinds of information from being recorded about you?
Well, one major step you can take is to install and use a Virtual Private Network . VPN is a technology that in essence allows you to make your computer look like a different computer from a different place. For example, if you use a properly-configured VPN while surfing from your home computer in Denver, site logs will show you as having come from an entirely different IP address in Berlin, Germany. There are both free and paid VPNs the free VPNs work pretty well but usually have some important limitations on their functionality and on how often you can use them. We reviewed a number of the best VPNs here check out our article and see what service would work best for your needs.
For more specific privacy protection, you have to look app by app. We have created a series of guides on how to protect your privacy within major social networking sites. For example, we discuss how to protect your privacy in SnapChat. We show you how to keep your information protected in WhatsApp. Of course we talk about , and how to .
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How To Tell If Someone’s Creeping You On Facebook
Everyone would love to know who’s been checking them out on Facebook and Twitter, right? Well, that’s not easy unless the “creeper” takes some overt activity such as liking or commenting on your posts or photos, or favoriting/retweeting your tweets.
Both Facebook and Twitter have opted not to give users the ability to see who has viewed their profiles or individual posts and photos. Facebook’s help center listing common myths about the network explicitly says the network does not show, or allow third-party apps to show, who’s viewed your posts or profile.
On Twitter, you can, of course, see the list of followers for most people, unless they’ve taken their account private And on Facebook, who can view someone’s friends list is governed by their individual privacy settings.
LinkedIn does allow some people to see who’s checked them out, through a feature it calls “who’s viewed your profile.” By default, this feature shows users how many people have checked out their profile in the past 90 days. For some users, it also shows the names of those creepers.
Check Facebook Interactions To Learn Who Is Looking For You
Facebook doesnt tell you who has viewed your profile, right? Well, thats half right. While there is no obvious, explicit way to spot who has checked you, Facebook does provide some clues.
Facebooks algorithm for displaying which of your friends has viewed your profile is as unknown as the one that suggests new contacts. However, elements like photo tagging, profile views, and which contacts are online are all believed to impact who is displayed.
While imprecise, you can at least discern which contacts are interested in looking for you online.
Meanwhile, if you use the feature, you can check who has viewed the post. After posting a story and waiting for it to collect a few views, open the story post and click the eye icon. This will list the names of the friends and other connections who viewed the post. Sadly, it cant tell you how many times your name been searched on Facebook.
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Easy Ways To Find Out Who’s Searching For You Online
Concerned that people are looking for you? Here are the online tools you can use to trace new mentions of you and find who’s looking for you.
Someone is looking for you online and they’re probably going to find you. The web is full of websites and services that provide your details to others.
It’s an uncomfortable sensation to know that your personal data can be used to track you. While it is unlikely anyone who has Googled you would intend harm, it is useful to know who they are.
It might be a potential employer, former lover, or even a long-lost relative. But how would you know if someone is searching for you on the internet? Here are the five most likely ways people have of finding you.
Can Someone Tell If I Google Their Name
The Internet has opened up a whole new world of privacy concerns. You can find anything or anyone, or at least it seems that way. Between search engines, career sites, social media platforms and dating apps, it seems like everything we do is out there online for other people to see. One common question that many people have is whether or not someone will know if you Google them. Another common question is how can I find someone online? In this article, Im going to answer both of those questions. Ill also discuss how to guard your own privacy online.
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In The Real World Go To The County Courthouse
The ultimate way to find someone, if you know the general area in which they reside, is the local county courthouse. Courthouses hold all public records things like land records, records of deaths, marriages, contracts, licenses, and much more. There may also be business or bankruptcy records too. These records can be incredibly useful in finding people. Some larger courthouses have online resources you can use. Smaller or older ones do not and youll have to go in person, and be prepared to pay a search or records fee.
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Set Up A Linkedin Profile
A LinkedIn profile is incredibly useful for finding a new job. You might be a freelancer, an expert in your field or if you’re simply looking for a change of career.
However, a presence on LinkedIn means that you can be found. Signing in to the service will display a total of profile views for the current period. LinkedIn Premium members will see full details of those viewing them the free account holders will only see a handful.
LinkedIn will display your profile views with the following information:
- Connection type
- Time since they viewed your profile
If someone is using LinkedIn to track you down, there is a good chance that it is for work-related reasons. On the other hand, you might like to know just who is looking, and why. Using the LinkedIn Premium service is a good way to get a handle on this. Unlike other options, it will display who has searched for you as long as they are a LinkedIn member.
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Look For Social Mentions
Like Google Alerts, but focusing on social networks that might see mention of your name is Mention.com.
This is a web-based alert system that offers apps for Windows 10 and macOS, as well as Android and iPhone. Sign up is free for the standard service, while Mention also offers a 14-day trial of the fully featured service. Once you sign up, sign in and create an alert. You can choose up to four additional alerts, which in this case might be the names of close family members.
Click Get Started to proceed. Mention will start scanning sources, including blogs, forums and social networks like Facebook and Twitter. A default selection of sources is scanned initially click the Edit alert button in the Mention dashboard to edit this.
The Mention dashboard lists all occurrences of your alert, which by default is sent to your email inbox. When an email is received, click the notification to instantly find out what context your name has been used in.
Is someone looking for you?
Will Someone Be Able To Tell If I Google Them
The short answer to this question is no, they will not be able to tell if you look for them online through a regular Google search. In fact, most of the routine things you do online are not trackable by other ordinary users unless you leave an obvious trail. Other users cannot tell what websites youve visited , what Facebook posts youve read, or what Reddit threads you have scrolled through.
However, just because another ordinary user cant find out these things, does not mean that nobody can find out those things. Facebook can tell if a post has appeared in your feed. Your ISP knows what websites you have visited, no matter how many times you clear your browser cache. The sysadmins at Reddit have logs showing what threads youve downloaded. Everything you do online, generally speaking, is tracked by someone or another . Whats at issue is who has access to that information.
Law enforcement, for example, can subpoena your browsing history either from your computer or directly from your ISP if they suspect that youve committed a crime. If youre going to Google how to bury a body and not get caught, its best to do it on someone elses computer or at the library. So it is important to realize that absolute privacy isnt really achievable online. Somebody can find out where you surfed and what you looked up, even if in practice nobody ever bothers to actually do it.
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Use Alerts And Stay Aware
People are always looking for you, be it friends, family, even fans. On the other hand, it might be debt collectors, potential employers, or even criminals.
There is no way to know who searched for you, so the smart option is to manage all interest in you. Several options are open to people trying to find you:
- Google search
- People finding websites like PeekYou
- Social networks like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram
- Professional networking tools such as LinkedIn
- Public record and genealogy sites
- Obituary and death notices of relatives
Meanwhile, if youre looking for someone online, all you need to do is follow a few simple steps. If the person youre looking for is online, youll probably find them.
Obituaries And Death Notices
Interestingly, a death and subsequent announcement can show people where you are. Too busy being dead to care?
What if it was the passing of a loved one? Your mention in their obituary or death notice in the local press, replicated for the online edition, could place a big “I am here” notice over your head. There are many people who share names, common and uncommon. Perhaps it won’t matter. But it’s worth taking care. After all, this information might be the last piece in the puzzle for someone trying to track you down.
It’s worth considering that the announcement of births and marriages in the press can also alert people to your location.
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Who Has Googled You Use Google Alerts
You might be asking yourself, “Who Googled me?” The first thing to do is to set up a Google alert. It might seem somewhat self-absorbed, but this is genuinely the first step in playing it safe.
Just don’t tell anyone you’ve got an alert for your own name on Google Alerts
Sign in to Google and visit . Here, enter your name in the alert box at the top of the page and click Create Alert.
Use the Show Options link to expand the view. This lets you set how often email alerts will arrive and where they should be delivered. You’ll see a preview of your alerts too, to give you an idea of how they will look.
It wont tell you how many times your name has been Googled, but whenever Google spots your name on a website, news page, social media, forum, or blog post, it will send you an email alert!
Is Long Lost Family Searching For You
Mawkish long-lost family reunions are TV ratings gold. They’re also often responsible for people trying to track down distant relatives for a reunion after many years. Various websites exist that can be used to track you and your family down under the auspices of “family research”.
For example, adoption search sites can be used to trace you, or your remote siblings. While no adoption agency would allow contact with individuals without permission, registering with one of these sites involves submitting consent.
Meanwhile, genealogy research behemoth www.ancestry.com has a vast database that could theoretically be used to track your current whereabouts.
Sadly, like many of the tools we’ve mentioned here, Ancestry can be misused. As an Ancestry member you receive notification if you have been added to other family trees. However, you cannot tell if anyone has checked yours or your ancestors’ details. It is possible to put a lock on your record, however, to prevent access by unrelated parties.
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Rules Of The Road For Creeping
In the world of online culture, a few commonly accepted guidelines have arisen as to how to do Internet creeping without offending anyone or embarrassing one’s self.
One big no-no, for example, is letting on to semi-strangers that you have already checked them out in great detail online. It can be off-putting to the person who’s been “creeped.” Citing something you saw on a person’s Facebook, for instance, is a terrible idea for a first date. In general, with people you are just meeting or acquaintances you barely know, it’s rarely a good idea to reference personal details such as birthday parties, trips to Spain, and favorite food.
This is especially true if the item being reference is older like a year or two, because it tells the person that you were actively browsing their timeline, as opposed to merely seeing it in your news feed, which is populated with more recent items. Keep in mind, if you click the like button or comment on something older, that person may well get notified that you have done so, which makes your action really stand out since it’s an older item that no one else is talking about anymore.
Another good rule of thumb is not to like or comment on anything posted by the person you’re checking out if you don’t know them in real life. Such actions give them an instant clue that they are being watched online by a stranger or someone they barely know, which makes many people uncomfortable.
Learn Who Is Searching For You With Twitter Analytics
You can also go in-depth on Twitter to find out who is looking for you online. You probably already know that you can check the usernames of people who like or retweet your posts. Unless they have their account locked or hidden, those interactions are recorded for you to check.
But what about beyond that? Other interactions, such as people searching for you or browsing your record of tweets are not recorded. However, you can use the Twitter Analytics screen to learn more. This displays your top tweets and top followers. While not hugely revealing, it might be useful to spot a follower you were otherwise unaware of perhaps an indicator of someone who is searching for you online.
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