Knowledge is Power: Simple Tips for Background Checks

Knowledge is Power: Simple Tips for Background Checks
The Siliconreview
13 January, 2021

In Short: make sure the firm you hire is legit

Anyone who has tried to get even a low-level security clearance from a government – particularly the U.S. government – will likely have some experience with how tedious, time-consuming, and generally daunting the process is. Aside from all of your personal background information down to your last fourth cousin’s middle name, there are also some questions that can strike you as amusing. “Have you ever been, or do you ever plan to be a terrorist?” “Are you or have you ever been a member of the Nazi party?” and the like. Obviously, a bad actor would answer falsely and not reveal their sinister plans, but the questions are there for a reason: a real background check is a thorough background check.

Background reviews or checks have become extremely common. You need a background check, for example, before taking a job as a kindergarten-level English teacher in some Asian regions such as Taiwan. On that island, prospective English teachers from America are required to send their fingerprints to the FBI. After the FBI checks and confirms that you have no Federal criminal record, the document then must be authenticated by local authorities. If it all checks out, you may then teach very young children the ABC song.

Background check companies, which are accessible easily via the internet, can also be useful for those looking to buy property. You might not be able to find out whether your prospective neighbor has a felony conviction, but you would be able to find out certain information that could affect your decision as to whether or not you want to live next door to them. Click over here now for more on the basics of background checks. Tedious the process may be, it makes sense. The nanny, a driver, a business partner, even a spouse; people want to know what might be lurking in someone's background as it gives you the power of knowledge.

Others want to find out what is publicly available in records about themselves. Self-background checks are not the same as typing your name into a search engine for a self-referential check to see how many pages it takes before your name comes up. Knowing what official records show about yourself can be a matter of great significance. If, for example, you have an outstanding legal issue that turns up in a professional background check, it could ruin your chances of getting a job. That’s just one of many other examples of why someone would want to check to see what background information is currently available on themselves.


The best types of service to use when you are trying to discover what's out there about you or others isn't a search engine but rather a specific company that offers specific, all-encompassing checks into personal data. So, how do these companies search for information? Most use a similar formula and do individual searches for your name and aliases, various addresses you've lived at, phone numbers, where you've worked, your spouse's name, and possibly also financial information such as credit card numbers or tax records. This is why it's so important that you are sure the company you're using is legit. No third-party sites should be affiliated with the company you choose, and you should be sure of their guarantees of anonymity. Some of the reports offered by background check companies are free as they are nothing more than a simple search, while others require a fee per report and others offer membership plans.

These companies will search massive online databases before aggregating the data and giving you an accurate report. As such, you’ll want to make sure the company that searches for you looks for things that are up-to-date and current, not only deep background checks. You'll also want to ensure that your privacy is protected and that the company would never – under any circumstances – sell your information to advertisers, for example. Other questions to ask include: is the company connected to any governmental agencies or associations that you would rather not be associated with? Do you detect any biases? Finally, there is pricing to consider. As you will probably suspect, the cheaper the service is the more likely it is to not to cover all the bases.

You get what you pay for is almost always an accurate statement, but the good news is that decent background checking services are not especially expensive. Make sure there are clear rules before you engage in the transaction, check the terms and conditions, and read the fine print. What happens if you wish to cancel or if you feel the background report is not totally complete? The last thing you want is your data in the hands of an unscrupulous firm.