You already know why it’s useful to run a background check on other people in your life. You want to see if the people you encounter have a criminal record, are lying about their past, or worse.
But what about running a background check on yourself? It’s easy with a tool like Instant Checkmate. Even if you think you know your own history, it helps to understand how other people see you. When people pull your background check, do they get to know your true history or are they seeing a distorted version of you? Pulling your own background check can help prevent years of misunderstandings if it offers a less than perfectly accurate of who you are as a person.
Here are a few reasons you should run a background check on yourself — and what you might discover.
1. Help Guard Against Identity Theft
In most cases when a person’s identity is stolen, the damage is already done by the time the theft is discovered. The harm to your reputation can take years to fix, and in some cases, it’s impossible to completely clear up. Somebody could have stolen your identity and taken out loans in your name. It is possible that a creditor filed a lawsuit against you without you even knowing about it?
Common signs of identity theft in a background report include email addresses and phone numbers that don’t belong to you. In many cases, personal identity thieves can also create fraudulent social media accounts in your name as well.
2. Discover What Others See About You
What do other people see when they run a search on you? Since background checks are more common than ever, the people that you meet might check your record. A background history that seems negative might lead to serious consequences, such as denied dates and other opportunities.
Checking your own background report is a bit like checking the mirror before you leave the house. You already know what you look like, but you want to make sure you’re able to put your best foot forward.
3. See If Anything Is Incorrect
Since the information in background checks is pulled from public records, it’s usually accurate. But sometimes there are errors. Sometimes these errors are caused by innocent reasons, such as information being filed incorrectly. Or they might signal something nefarious, such as identity theft.
In either case, you want to make sure that people who do research about you are getting the right idea. If there are any mistakes on your record, you can take steps to ensure they are fixed.
4. Information Inside Of Background Reports
Background report services scour through millions of public records and assemble an easy-to-read report about almost any adult in the United States. Every report is different, but they can show you information that’s harder to access with just a Google search alone.
Here’s what you may discover inside of a background report.
5. Personal Information
If you want the basics about someone, check out the personal information section first. You could find:
- A first name and last name
- Known aliases
- Date of birth
- Possible photographs
6. Social Media Data
The majority of Americans have a social media profile, and most even have several. What do your social media accounts say about you? Background checking yourself might help you remember old accounts you might have long abandoned, but still include revealing details about your life.
- Photo sharing platforms: Did you open a Flickr account that currently displays pictures of your family, home, or just selfies you’d like to keep private?
- Dating profiles: You might have forgotten to delete old dating profiles.
- Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram: Do all your social media posts really reflect who you are as a person now?
- Blogs: Maybe you spilled your guts at one point in the past. But do you still want all that information out in the open?
- Amazon Accounts: People can discover a surprising amount of information about you from your shopping habits. If someone comes across your Amazon profile, they can see all of your reviews and even your public wishlists.
When someone is trying to get to know you, they almost certainly scour through all social media information you’ve left behind. A good online background check can help remind you of accounts you opened and forgot about long ago.
7. Contact Information
Ever claimed that you lived in a big city when really you lived in a small suburb on the outskirts of the metropolitan area? A background check can include lots of information that reveals the truth.
8. Information in background checks might include:
- Address history
- Phone numbers
- Email addresses
9. Criminal Records
You might think that you have a totally squeaky clean record, but there might be a few items in your past you have memory-holed. Do you have a lead foot? Your history of speeding tickets will reveal you just can’t drive 55. Did you get arrested for a fight when you were younger? No matter how minor the infraction, all court records are a matter of public record that can show up on your background report.
The public records you can see in your background report is kind of like a real-life permanent record. However, you might be able to clean your reputation after you learn what’s in it. For example, you might be able to get certain records expunged through a legal process.
10. Liens, Bankruptcies, and Assets
Have you ever suffered financial setbacks? Find out if anyone else can see them on your background check report. Things like tax liens, bankruptcies, or civil lawsuits can appear on your report.
You can also find assets, like properties owned or vehicles driven.
11. Learn About Yourself and Boost Your Online Reputation
There’s a big difference between thinking your reputation is good online and actually knowing it. Performing an online background check can give you peace of mind. Pulling your own background check and discovering what impression people have of you, can
Start with your own background report, and keep searching! You never know what you might discover.