How to Do a Background Check on Anyone
Can you really say that you know
someone? Like really know someone? Well, thanks to the advent of the internet or digital age, now you can at
least say you know something about someone. Conducting background checks online have become more simpler and
the average Joe is now able to get your education history, professional achievements, social history and so
much more. There is a myriad of platforms available on the internet for conducting background checks and
today I will give you a tested guideline on how to perform these checks.
Caution must be taken however as
background checks done for employment purposes or property leases can only be limited to specific background
service – the Consumer Reporting Agency. So before undertaking a background check of any kind, you need to
familiarize yourself with the Fair Credit Reporting Act. Here you will get a clear guideline of how to
go about your check and what services to use along with other regulations. Being ignorant of the law is no
excuse for breaking it!
The federal government has developed a
website that provides you with a list of government and non-government agencies that will provide the service
should you wish to know their criminal history; this site also provides you with a source of services that
you can use to run your check. It is important to note however, that there are illegal methods of conducting
background checks; therefore you need to arm yourself with the right information from credible sources such
as the police or government departments.
No need to snoop
Get as much information about the object of your check
as possible and the best source is from the person themselves. Information you will need are their given name
and surname (middle name will also be of great help), their phone number and possibly their home or work
address. This will give you a good starting point as searches online will provide you with a good number of
hit that you can narrow your search from.
You can use the Subject’s online handle or username if
you come short of their personal information. Some websites perform thorough online searches, even unearthing
information that one would not have easily found when conducting a regular search. Pipl and Zabasearch are examples of search site, with the first giving
you access to an international database.
So say the information needed above simply does not
correlate with the picture you have of your Subject, no problem. With Google Search, all you will need to do
is upload the image from your files and click on the search button. TV programs such as Catfish on MTV have
popularized this method of conducting background checks as online dating has given rise to dishonest people
misrepresenting themselves on social sites.
If you happen to have your Subject’s IP address,
GeoIP is your best bet as all you need is a valid IP address
and it will give you access to international information. The site shows you the origin of information sent from
that particular IP address, therefore giving you a geographic location. You may still need to conduct a more in
depth check on that person but narrowing down their location is a good enough place to
Below is a step by step guideline that
you need to follow in order to successfully run a background check on say your room mate, next door neighbor
or potential boyfriend:
Step 1: Select
your desired database portal or website depending on the type of search that you are conducting. The points
listed above will give you an indication of what source to use for your search.
Enter the information that you will use to conduct the
search in the allocated section, be it their personal details, user handles, picture of IP address. Then
click search on the screen or press enter on your keyboard.
Step 3: The website will call up a list of search results from
information gathered on the internet and the number of hits will depend on how popular the information you
have used is. You will then need to filter the information according to what is more relevant to your Subject
i.e. location, gender, race etc.
Step 4: Sift through the filtered results and select the
information that best describes the person you are conducting your background check on. You can create a file
where you will enter all the information that you have received.
Step 5: For a
more in depth check, use your filed information to conduct an advanced search. This time around, you should
only receive information relevant to the person that you are doing your background check on.
Step 6: Once the
advance search is complete you will have enough information about your subject to make informed assumptions
about them. Furthermore, you should also have more of their contact details such as their mobile number,
email address and street address.
To curb identity theft that can
be financially and legally crippling to you by conducting a background check
on yourself from time to time cannot possibly hurt. You need to know what kind of information is on the net
that is about you and you may find that some of this information is not true.
One thing that you need to be aware of
is that for as long as you are a functioning member of society, there is some kind of information on you
online. Ensuring that the internet carries the right kind of information about you will help you in cases
where your future employers, business partners or landlords decide to do a background check on
Background checks are an empowering
tool if used for the right reasons. If you use this information to harm your subject in anyway i.e.
cyber-bullying, then you will be faced with possible jail time. Background checks are great for pre empting
someone’s personality, gaining historical knowledge and more, so search responsibly.