Where to start
The first sources from which we can find people by username, no matter how trite it may seem, are search engines like Google and DuckDuckGo. Nicknames are one of the most frequently used data in user descriptions on forums or messengers. And because of this, we can get completely unexpected results. Search queries by using dorks will help you to get even more accurate and useful results.
Another method of using search engines is to search for profile pictures. Image search is included in almost all search engines. In our opinion, Yandex currently offers extremely good image/face recognition.
Search web services
The purpose of these web services is to inform users on which sites/social networks certain nicknames can be registered.
knowem.com is one of the most used services for looking up usernames on websites and social networks, as well as looking up domain names and registered trademarks. Allows you to check brand, product, personal name or username usage on over 500 popular websites and social networks.
namevine.com allows you to search among the most popular social networks. It accepts any text as input, even partial ones. The tool is ideal for starting investigations, as it returns results very quickly and allows you to search for incomplete texts, for example, when the target has changed its name a little. To access the profile associated with your username, you can click on the tab «View.»
Instantusername.com stands out among the many services dedicated to searching for usernames because of the GNU GPL v.3.0 license and the ability to search over 100 social networking sites, including Mastodon.
List of sites with similar functionality
Command line tools
Instead of the mentioned services, you can use command line tools that you can find for free on the Internet or in some specialized Linux distributions such as Tsurugi Linux. Tsurugi Linux is an open-source project and completely free.
There are a lot of tools, so let’s see how to use some of the most useful and effective ones.
Using Tsurugi, you can run userRecon directly from the command line. Once you open MATE, you will have the option to directly enter a username that will be displayed on over 75 websites and social media. The search results will be displayed on the video, matched against all direct links, or automatically saved to a text file.
Userscon-py allows you to search almost 190 social networks and websites. Userrecon-py can be called from the menu: In this case, you need to paste the following command:
userrecon-py –target USERNAME
At the end of the search, all found information will be displayed on the screen. If you want to get a text file with search results, enter the following command at the command prompt:
userrecon-py –target ramingo >> userrecon-py.txt
Searching for username using Google Dorks
We have already talked about such a powerful tool as Google Dorks. It is also used to find people by username. Also, URL searches can give good results because URLs usually contain usernames.
inurl:johndoe site:instagram.com – Searches Instagram for links containing “johndoe” in the field.
allinurl:john doe ny site:instagram.com – Searches for “john”, “doe”, and “ny” in Instagram URLs. Similar to inurl, but unlike inurl, it supports multi-word searches.
The list of words you get will depend on how successful your previous search was. You can use it when you need to experiment with numerous username variations. This is sometimes necessary because you don’t have a clear idea of which username to choose. In order to compile such a list of words, you can use a special Python script that will help you do this automatically – link.