There is simply no getting around it: all your recorded background information is available to just about anyone who wants to see it. If a person has the inclination to check your criminal history, marriage and divorce records, or even your contact information, they can do so in just a few clicks.
Background checks are commonly assumed to be something other people do in order to check on you. But have you ever considered doing a check on yourself? As the ease of performing a self-background check increases, so the does the number of people who opt to do self-check.
Here are a few reasons why more and more people are seeing what the public databases have to say about them.
Check to See If You Are the Victim of Identity Theft
Identity theft is the act of posing as an individual by using their social security number, credit cards, or other private data. According to the Federal Trade Commission, as many as 10 million Americans every year become victims of identity theft. If an identity thief maliciously uses your information, they can do untold damage to your credit score and reputation that can take years to make right.
But how can you know if some unscrupulous person has been tarnishing your good name? The simplest way to just run a background check on yourself and see what comes up. If what you find is surprising (such as being sued by a creditor when you have never done business with them), you will know something is up right away.
Guard Against Inaccurate Information
While online background checks are extremely reliable, mistakes do happen. While errors can be minor (such as listing a home address that is no longer current), they might actually be damaging to your reputation. There is no reason to have people think poorly of you simply because of an unfortunate clerical error. The only way to guarantee that other people see the correct info when they pull your background check is by doing one yourself.
Ensure There Is No Missing Information
Background checks don’t just contain bad stuff. They also contain information about your accomplishments, such as professional licenses and interesting facts about your neighborhood. A background check can reveal neighborhood demographics derived from census data, providing valuable insight into your community. It’s always a good idea to make sure your personal info is properly recorded on your public record. What if someone out there is trying to reconnect with you? Make sure your contact information is up-to-date! You never who might be looking.
Know What Other People Are Seeing
Just about anyone can pull your online background check any time they want. Knowing that, wouldn’t it be a good idea to see what’s on it before they do? If you have anything on your public record that might need some explaining, a self-check will give you an opportunity to provide that kind of information to them beforehand. It gives you an opportunity to clear the air, prevent any misunderstandings, and appear straightforward and honest with the people you associate with.