What You Can Do:
There are many options for doing a background check online. It can be as simple as going through the subject’s social networking profiles and comments and getting a check done using a trustworthy online background checking service. Taking the quick Internet approach isn’t going to provide you with a comprehensive online background check though, so the kind of search you’ll need to do will depend on what information you seek. Criminal record checks can often be done online with the help of state police departments and different databases.
Have an extensive number of information sources
For instance, most states have an online sex offender registry search system maintained by the police in the interest of public safety. Corrections information is also often available online. In states where it’s permitted, police departments accept written requests from the public to release reports on accidents and assaults. Specific forms and small fees may be required. The requestor wanting police report copies for a background check online must supply the description, location, date and time of the incident.
Be wary of background check companies offering “instant nationwide” criminal background checks that use only one database. Oftentimes, these aren’t as accurate as when several databases are used rather than only one. Some locations tend to be missed even though the coverage is supposed to be nationwide. Different state laws prevent consistencies in record retrieval as well, which is fine if you understand which records are off limits rather than thinking that everything was checked and covered the same in all states.
Know exactly what’s being covered in a background check online
It’s important to know what exactly the company is checking in a background check online and from where the information is drawn to avoid mistakes. Again, it’s one thing to know about certain types of information not checked and another to be under the incorrect assumption that they were covered. Never assume what is being checked, but rather be sure the company gives you a complete list. You also shouldn’t have to pay for something considered an accurate, complete check, when in reality you’re getting a quick, incomplete background check. The subject’s name must be spelled correctly and a full name should be used to avoid common mistakes in identity between people with the same or similar names.
Online background checks that are connected with a subject’s fingerprints are associated with a higher degree of accuracy that screens in which a name only is used. Also, maiden names or aliases should also be searched for when doing a background check online. Thinking in terms of thorough information can be the best mindset when doing online background checks. For example, not only is it highly possible for people to use different names, but addresses and phone numbers are also likely to change throughout the years.
Rather than glazing over the details, embrace the tidbits of data you uncover in a background check online. Each new address found for the subject may lead to more information. Something that seems small, like the subject’s membership in a community group, could lead to further sources for questions, interviews and more background data collection.