There are several reasons you might want to run a background check on somebody. Perhaps you would like to check they are legitimate and have a good reputation before doing business with them.
Alternatively, perhaps you are an employer wanting to check the background of prospective employees before offering them a job.
Whatever your reasons, if you have tried searching for them you may have discovered that a range of websites claim to offer free background checks.
You may also have discovered that these are almost always not really free. However, this doesn’t mean it is impossible to run an online background check on somebody. It just means you have to follow a few more steps and do it yourself.
How Will Google Help Me With This?
As with most types of online query, your first stop should be Google.com. Do a simple search for the person’s name, a company name, or any other information you have on them. If searching for their personal name, it is likely other people will have the same name.
If this makes it hard to find any results that refer to them specifically, try combining it with anything else you know such as a business name or the place they live. Email addresses and phone numbers are also worth Googling if you know them. Often, it is surprising how carelessly these get left lying around on public web pages.
Do You Really Know Your Rights?
Using Social Media Sites To Uncover Those Secrets
Your next step should be to repeat step one, but on social media sites rather than a search engine. Facebook is your biggest source of useful info, but Twitter and Google+ are also worth checking. Personal and company names are the most useful things to search, as these will take you to their profiles.
However, whether you can see any useful information or even find a profile in search results depends on their privacy settings. If you can’t find them, return to Google and type in “Site:Facebook.com” followed by their name, and it will bring up any group or profile walls they have posted on.
Phone numbers won’t be linked to a person’s profile if you search on Facebook, but it is still worth trying. If they have left their number in a public comment on somebody’s wall or in a “New Number” group, it will turn up.
Phone Numbers, Addresses and Domain Names
If you have a phone number or address and want to find out who it belongs to, try a phone directory. There are countless directories for different locations, but you should easily find the correct one through a search engine. Traditionally, you look up somebody’s name to get their address and phone number.
However, many online directories allow you to do it the other way around, and find somebody’s name.
- SwitchBoard.comWe suggest that if you visit a website claiming huge amounts of profit through online trading systems, then you must read full reviews available on various websites. Then you can check the testimonials through online search engines. You need to verify the authenticity of the website and claims made on it before you invest your hard earned money. There are many scammers and you need to find the trustworthy ones.
If, meanwhile, you want to find out who owns a domain name, or whether somebody really owns a website they claim to run, this is much simpler. Whois.com offers a simple online search, giving you the name, address, and some contact details of any website’s owner.
Public and Criminal Records
This can be one of the most useful sources of information, especially if you are able to check for criminal records. However, like phone directories there are countless different websites depending on location, so you will have to resort to search engines to find the appropriate destination. Records for some jurisdictions also may not be searchable online.