If your credit and your reputation are important to you – do you know what people will find about you when they investigate online? You may want to peek into your own background and see if you find any surprises.
It can be well worth checking on your credit too, just to make sure that you are not hurt when applying for a loan or passed up for a job opportunity.
You can get your free credit report once a year from any of the three major credit bureaus — Equifax, Experian and Trans Union. Do not assume that their information is all going to be the same. Very often it is not. At the website FreeScoreOnline you can get all three of your reports free.
Investigating Yourself or Someone Else
It’s a good idea to know who you are dealing with in any type of new relationship. You probably should not rely solely on recommendations in many situations.
Maybe you want to hire a caretaker, or rent out a spare room. Image you just want to reconnect with family, friends, or classmates. Sometimes it is helpful to know who someone’s relatives are or who they associate with.
During the last week, I had contact with a couple of potential suitors from an online dating site. Rather than completely dismiss them since they were not local, I decided to go into detective mode.
The first thing I usually do is a simple Google
search on their name and location and whatever information I have, such as their profession. But, I wasn’t finding much, so I decided to look a bit further.
In the process, I started to wonder ……
“what would I find if I did an online search on myself?”
What I found out was mostly correct. But, I also found a whole lot of misinformation! Someone else’s photo and criminal record came up mixed in with real and accurate information about me. To correct this, I dealt directly with the background service provider.
What you can find out is truly incredible.
You can easily investigate to learn about whether anyone had traffic tickets, arrests, convictions, what their sex offender status is and all about their social media habits. There is very little that is really private any more.
The Quick and Easy Way to Investigate Yourself or Someone Else Online
The quick and easy way to investigate yourself online is to use a professional background check service. I used truthfinder.com and here is a sample report
There is a list of other background services that I have added to the Resources section of this website. All background services pull information from the same sources (Check out the Resources section for more in-depth information on any of the topics discussed on this site.)
The FREE Way to do a Background Check
All the background information that is available from most professional services is available to you FREE if you have the time to investigate. You may quickly be able to find out what you want or find a person you are looking for without spending a nickel.
There is a U-Tube video that can take you through how to do this on your own.
You don’t want to act on bad information. So, he more information you know about someone the better your search results will be – such as middle initial, age, general location, etc.
An article by Kim Komando in USA Today suggests that you might also dig up information on a person’s habits or character that a professional might not consider. And she suggest the following sites: PeekYou, White Pages Neighbors, and the Dru Sjodin National Sex Offender Public Website.
P.S. Don’t get yourself in trouble. If you are doing a background check as an employer or as a landlord or for credit, medical or insurance reasons you must use a Consumer Reporting Agency (CRA). The Fair Credit Reporting Act requires this to maintain standards for data protection and to offer dispute resolution.