When was the last time you did an online background check on yourself or someone else?
Before you freak out and think personal screening is creepy, know that there is a multitude of good reasons why you should be curious. Ever wanted to know more about a potential business partner? How about your next date? Background checks provide valuable information so you can avoid scammers and serial killers. But first, let’s take a look at the impact the technology has on the screening process.
Technological Progress Makes Background Checks Easier
Private and public information is now readily available due to rapid data digitization. Technology plays a significant role in consolidating personal data, and companies in the industry have taken advantage. AI, machine learning, and deep-search algorithms combine to aggregate vast amounts of data.
The digitization process has helped the background verification process a great deal. Providers can now efficiently deliver fast and reliable results to anyone who needs it. Background screening companies today can provide a detailed report on anyone.
You can request to verify identity, check employment records, and do a criminal background check in a matter of seconds. The impact of cutting-edge technology on background checks is only going to increase as newer developments arise.
Reasons to Do a Background Check
Knowledge is power. Knowing more about yourself and the people you surround yourself with is crucial to surviving in a world dominated by the internet.
Why conduct a background check on yourself? For one thing, there may be inaccurate or erroneous details about you floating around the net. These false details could end up on your credit report. How about finding an embarrassing photo of yourself, or an inappropriate comment you made years ago? These small details will pop-up when you least expect it and may hurt your chances when applying for a loan or a job.
Know Thy Date
The internet is a dangerous place. The best way to keep safe is not to trust anyone you meet online. It’s effortless to hide behind a fake profile picture and false credentials. Doing a background check on your date before heading out can help keep you safe. You’ll know if the person you’re having dinner with has any priors or convictions. The screening concept should also apply to new roommates and guests if you’re into Airbnb or Couch Surfing.
Know Thy Partners
Are you taking in a new business partner or investor? If you know very little about the person, a background check may provide valuable information that can help your decision. You should also screen the person buying your home or vehicle and vice versa. The last thing you want is to become a target because you’re driving around in a car owned by a known criminal.
Free or Paid?
There are plenty of free and paid background screening services available online. The question is, should you pay for the information?
As stated above, information is power, and power costs money. If you want to get accurate and up-to-date information on anybody, you should look for a reliable provider online. Paid background checks will give you the more detailed information you otherwise won’t be able to get elsewhere.
Free services are not updated regularly, making the results unreliable at best. You can augment your search using social media; however, that approach can only take you so far. If the person you’re checking has his or her account set to private, you won’t see anything. Also, nobody in their right mind would post any prior convictions or outstanding loans on their social media page.
Your best option is to look for a premium service. The databases that paid background checks pull data from are bigger and updated regularly. Plus, premium search provides all the relevant information relating to any person, such as:
- Date of birth.
- Full residential address.
- Marriage/divorce records.
- Death records.
- Legal records.
- Criminal records.
You’ll never honestly know who a person really is unless you spend a lot of time together. The dangerous details of someone’s past will always remain hidden from the public eye and may end up hurting you in the end. Protect yourself by doing a background check on new people you meet, especially online. Screen all strangers that have no connection with you or anyone from your circle.