How to run a free background check on yourself

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How to run a free background check on yourself
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Background checks can be one of the most nerve-racking activities related to getting a new job. In many cases, it’s not that you have anything to hide, but it’s just that the propensity for error – either by a human or machine – can have some serious ramifications.

There are companies that charge employers big money to access personal information on potential hires. But the truth is, there is already plenty of data publicly available on us all – and it’s free, meaning we can pretty much perform background checks on ourselves. Think of it as a sneak peak of what a potential employer might see when you go to apply for a job.

How to run a background check on yourself — for free 

While we’re in an era when so many online databases are basically at our fingertips, some of the info that’s available could be totally inaccurate.

When it comes to background checks, accurate information on a person’s identity is especially crucial: Incorrectly run checks that confuse people with the same or similar names could be costing job applicants that all-important job offer.

Aside from social networking sites such as Facebook, here are some free databases that have troves of information on people. Now, it’s important to note that many of these sites charge money to get full reports, but they’ll give you some clues about what information is available about you before you spend a dime:

PeekYou.com: This people-search site crawls the web for links likely associated with you or the person you’re searching for. The site will also pull information from social media. With just a state, first and last name it can give you a person’s age, city and a partial phone number. There is a paywall to access a full report.

BeenVerified.com: This site pulls a composite taken from across the web. It is pretty accurate in pinning the city a person is from or has lived in. It also features a comprehensive social search to identify possible relatives as well. While there is a paywall at a point if you’re using the web-based version, the app it let me dig much further, including accessing a person’s home address, email and phone number. With the app, you reportedly get deep access like this for one search per month.

NSOPW: The National Sexual Offender Public Website is a safety resource that provides the public with access to sex offender data nationwide.

Credit reports: Get free credit reports from Credit Karma and Credit Sesame to what employers (who are increasingly running credit check on potential employees) might see.

As you can see, the web is full of personal information about you or anyone, but you may have to approach it in a piecemeal way. For arrest records and criminal data, that information is usually accessed for a price.

RELATED: Here’s how your friends could help you recover your Facebook account

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Clark Howard About the author:
Clark Howard is a consumer expert whose goal is to help you keep more of the money you make. His national radio show and website show you ways to put more money in your pocket, with advice you can trust. More about Clark
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