Tips from Taylor

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Choosing To Do a Background Screening

Sometimes dealing with people can be tough.

Sometimes you wonder about them. You wonder if they are telling you the truth.

Wouldn't this be a good time to run a background check on them?

Yes, some situations call for it.

There are many reasons why you might do this. Most situations are just personal, but a good percentage are professional.

We think we're a good judge of character, but the reality is that you simply cannot make the best decisions based simply on looking at and talking with someone.

Some horrible people in the past have been known to hide under a seemingly nice person's face. Of course, they appeared to be genuinely friendly and nice. They appeared to be outstanding, fine young people, but underneath that polished exterior, they could be very dangerous.

You can find the right background service to screen for these types of people. Or you could just do some of it yourself.

And you do not need to be member of a police force or an FBI agent. All you have to do is visit a website where they might post some personal details.

First, go to Facebook. Try to find their public Facebook profile. You can also search for their name on Google or Bing and you may see some mentions of their name. You will need to narrow down your search somewhat by adding some unique details of this person, such as city, school, workplace or type of work. These searches will often bring back a Facebook or LinkedIn profile.

Of course, not that many people post much personal contact information on the profile page. You will most likely just see their profession and location information.

But armed with their location details, you can go to the YellowPages or WhitePages websites and try to get more info. You should be able to glean some clues from their comments and the comments of their friends. It's possible you can also see some of the groups they are interested in or belong to.

Once you get past searching for these people on Google, there isn't too much else you can do on your own. You should probably use a commercial background check site to look for more details.

For example, Best Background Checks differentiates searches into five different categories. There are full searches that will look at a variety of data, including credit reports and credit history; a criminal history search that will look at federal, state and local arrest records; personal individual searches that are just for individuals investigating another individual; public info searches that only search through the various public databases; and employer or landlord screenings, which are reserved for employers or landlords interested in looking into the background of a prospective employee or tenant.

You should be able to get information on most people's public records including details about their birth, marriage, divorce and living addresses. You will also learn if the person has committed a felony, served time in prison or has been involved in some criminal activity.

You might also see details about certifications, professional and business licenses along with company affiliations.

You may also get information that will help you find missing individuals.

All you really need to start with a commercial search is the person's name and a location. By hooking up with the right search service, you should be able to get some information that will help you make better decisions about someone.