Not too many people make the extra effort to figure out if something they found on the Internet is true o. Usually, the first search result is taken as the truth. That’s just the way it is.
And sadly, this standard of acceptance as truth is also the case for many bosses, co-workers, friends, and friends of friends.
We’re talking about background information which can directly affect your online credibility or reputation, or even your employment.
After all, IF IT’S FOUND ON THE INTERNET, IT MUST BE TRUE!
Similarly, the Internet is big place. But, it becomes significantly smaller when you have a unique name, or use an email address or username which may be similar to, or confused for another person. Years of experience has taught us one thing is certain - there will be other persons online who share your same name. There will also be other persons using your same username, or others using similar email addresses.
That leads us to our other topic…IT WASN’T ME!
Wrong, erroneous, or incorrect background information belonging to another person can easily be mistaken for your own information during a background check. Whether it's mean-spirited remarks, or photos posted on social networks, or references to your name in a scandalous news story, this type of negative background information can easily be found during an online background check.
This erroneous data can be found in many different forms, including:
Even more worrisome might be an effort by an ex-spouse, ex-boyfriend or girlfriend, current or former co-worker, or a jealous friend, to defame your name. We see cases like this frequently and finding the perpetrators can be difficult since this type of defamation is posted anonymously, or under an alias. Yet another good reason to make sure you check your own background.
Criminal cases and arrests records reported online also add a new dimension and urgency to finding background data which might be mistakenly linked to you. To be clear, we’re not talking about a criminal background check. Rather, we’re talking about links to news stories and other places where this info can appear.
Even though there are laws like the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and other State and Federal protections which control how criminal background data can be reported, there’s no way to make sure companies adhere to them.
Similarly, how do you know a disgruntled co-worker or a boss who has it out for you, won’t take these arrest or criminal records and try to use them against you? They might go about it in an indirect way, but it happens all the time.
We believe knowledge is still king. Knowing what can be found on a background check about you is a core component towards maintaining your online reputation.
Obviously, we are not the only company who shares the same opinion. Companies such as www.reputation.com are dedicated to defending your name, and preserving your reputation on the Internet.
We start by find your identifying information, such as:
Then, we search the Internet for any references associated with your identifying information.
Remember, we search for information using ALL identifying data, including your name, usernames, email addresses, phone numbers and even your FAKE accounts!
In a nutshell – if it can be found on the Internet, then we'll find it.
Results can include:
This area of social network research remains a hotly debated topic. In 2011 the FTC took a “no action” approach against a company which offers Pre-employment social media background checks. This opened the doors for other background check companies to include social network data with their Pre-employment background investigations. The FTC only addressed the issue of using social network information for Pre-employment investigations. They did not render any opinion about your existing employer using, or checking your Internet background.
There’s also another side of the coin, one which is not openly discussed. And that is - employers or prospective employers are COVERTLY using background information found online to make hiring and firing decisions. Sure, they’re supposed to adhere to FTC and FCRA laws, but the reality is, some do and others don't.
Even for existing employees who have worked happily in the same place for years, your Internet background is now relevant. There may be a change in management, a cut in the staffing levels, or perhaps you are fortunate enough to be under consideration for a promotion. In many of these cases, you can expect your employer to do a thorough background check to make sure there are no red flags.
And, if you live in an “At-Will Employment” state like California, this could be bad news for you if you’ve ever posted questionable comments, pictures or other items which could be viewed as questionable by your employer or potential employer.
Background data being checked and analyzed by employers and potential employers includes:
The Internet is ripe with terse statements made on social networking sites and thousands of other online locations. People post thoughts or remarks in jest and their meaning or intent might not be clear to readers. It’s most likely happened to you, whether it was on Facebook or in a text message, you had to further explain the meaning behind a message or post.
Comments taken out of context or misunderstood by others can lead to serious issues with your friends, family, co-workers or even a spouse. Have you ever ‘talked trash” anywhere Online? If so, then a little damage control might be in order.
We know what you’re thinking “I would never post anything on the Internet using my real name, especially something bad”. We too know most people don’t use their real names to talk trash, cheat or bully others Online. For your background check, that’s why we check for the aliases, Usernames and email addresses you thought you could hide. We check your entire Online background.
Similarly, people exploit their own irresponsible behavior on the Internet. Whether you jokingly made offhand remarks or posted provocative pictures in the spirit of fun, this type of background information can be used against you. Used against you by your ex-spouse or any other “ex”, a boss or co-worker, a licensing bureau or other public agency; or used to discredit your testimony as a witness and to raise questions about your parenting skills. The list goes on and the comments remain wherever you posted them.
Can you remember all the different websites where you made questionable, disparaging or hateful comments?
Another point is- what if you are cheating? How hard would it be for your spouse to find out?
Using a service like ours it could be easy. Do you know what information can be found on a background check about you? Remember, we find the hidden Usernames and other email addresses you use to conceal your activity.
Lastly, sometimes you can’t get out of the grip of an ex-spouse, or disgruntled family member like an in-law. What would happen if this type of person set out on a fact finding mission - about you?
The Internet holds a lot of background details about you. Reducing or hiding clues to your whereabouts, or daily activities, should be a primary concern for you and your family’s safety. And it starts by finding out what the other person can find out about you.
Comments, posts, pictures and other background information can be collected and used against you as evidence if you are involved in any of the following types of cases: