PC Doctor February 9, 2019

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Dear PC Doctor:

This isn’t really a computer question, but maybe you can help.

An old friend recently texted me. I didn’t have a cell phone back when we saw one another regularly. It got me thinking: How did she get my number? Don’t get me wrong; I’m glad we’re back in touch. But is there a way to find people’s cell numbers? We don’t really have phone directories anymore.



Dear Gabi:

Cell phone numbers are typically unlisted. You are right in that there is no paper directory in which you can look up friends’ cell numbers. However, that does not mean cell numbers can’t be found.

Sometimes, a simple internet search for a person’s name will turn up phone numbers, addresses, and more. Try putting your own name into your favorite search box and see what information is readily available about you. You’ll be surprised! (You may also see that some of it is not correct.) It all depends on how much of an internet presence a person has, what kinds of accounts they have, and what information they have chosen to share on the internet.

You mentioned that this was an old friend. Is it possible you’re connected on social media? Is your cell number part of your profile information? Have you used your phone to access and post on social media? If you have, it’s discoverable. If you access Facebook from your phone, for example, people you use messenger with may have your number show up in their contacts.

Of course, a mutual friend may have given her your number! (If you’re enjoying being in touch and are on good terms, you could just ask how she found you.)

Until next time,

Happy Computing!

PC Doctor

Editor's Note: Questions should be directed to PC Doctor, care of the Athol Public Library, info@athollibrary.org or Athol Public Library, 568 Main St., Athol, Mass. 01331, or dropped off at the library.