You have a new coworker. Let’s call him Jim Jones for the sake of brevity. He is nice, good-humored, and well-mannered. Still, you can’t help but feel there’s something not quite right about him. You decide to delve into his background because you have the right to know with whom you’re spending your time at the office.
It’s easy to run a fast, free background check on anyone online. You have many sources of information at your disposal, including Google, social media, The Beat, PeekYou, the White Pages, and the people finder Check People.
Google is the First Place to Start
Enter “Jim Jones” or the name of your subject in quotations marks in the search engine. If the name is very common, you’ll need to add other information, such as the name of your city and state. If he moved from another city, enter that instead of yours.
You’ll find various social networks popping up if Jim is a sociable person: LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and more. You might need to send a friend request to see the details. Not all people use their real names on social media, though.
To find pictures of your new coworker, you could run a Google image search. Interesting things might pop up, like a mugshot.
The Beat combines Google Street View with photo geotags so you can see where photos were taken. It makes it possible to see if any publicly posted pictures were taken near to where you work or live. The Beat will yield a photo album taken near your office by people you probably don’t know. It’s useful, but it also raises privacy issues.
PeekYou searches for links connected to the person you’re looking for. All the links found are indexed in the same location so they’re easy to browse. There’s a simple overview of practically anyone. It’s also possible to search by work, city, interests, or other categories.
If you have a new neighbor you want to check out, you can do that even without knowing his name. Enter your home address in the Neighbors section of whitepages.com. This will yield a map of your neighborhood. To see what information about neighbors is publicly accessible, click on houses or apartment blocks. White Pages utilizes state of the art social network technology. It’s not necessary to ransack someone’s mailbox for information anymore, which is a good thing because that is not legal.
Inspect the Registry of Sex Offenders
Your new coworker or neighbor being a convicted sex offender is quite a disconcerting thought. To put your mind at ease, go to the public National Sex Offender website,and enter their name or address. The site will pull up his work and home addresses and a picture of him if he’s in the database. A risk level might also appear.
You’ll probably find your new coworker to be an upstanding citizen. Keep in mind that people finders can mix people up. If there is another Jim Jones in Chicago, for example, and there are bound to be at least a hundred, the system could mix them up, mistaking your coworker for someone else.
Last Words on Free Background Checks
Isn’t it amazing how much information is publicly available? A great deal from our past has been archived, waiting to be rediscovered, even when we’ve completely forgotten it.
It’s just as easy to find out something about someone as it is for them to find something out about us that we’d rather they didn’t. It’s a good idea to look yourself up using a people finder. If there’s something you don’t want people to know, ask for it to be deleted.