The vast majority of people never know what will come up if someone was to run a background check on them. This can play a major role in employment issues, credit issues and even personal interests. By learning how to do a personal background check you can be proactive in correcting errors or becoming aware of what your name may be tied to.
There has been a rush of people regularly checking their credit scores but many have forgotten about what else may come up. As a Private Investigator I have clients that do not know what is on their own background checks on a daily basis. There are a few cost effective and simple steps one can take to ensure they know exactly what is in their background.
First thing I recommend is to do a basic Google search on yourself. Put your name in parenthesis and see what come up. Unless you have a common name or the same name as someone famous you should get some results. If you see results from court web sites or things that you have no recollection of then it is time to look into them a bit further.
The second thing I recommend is to search the judicial web site of your home state or county. Most states have an online case search option which makes it very easy. In Connecticut the judicial web site search is broken down into Criminal/Motor Vehicle, Family/Civil, Small Claims and Housing. This is a good source to see if there are any law suits you may have been named in or outstanding warrants.
The third thing I recommend is subscribing to a background check company or service. There are many options for this out there and there are some good and bad ones. What they do it gather billions of records for millions of sources and put it into a easy search database. This is why they charge a subscription fee which is usually quite a small fee for all the work they do. It is usually a one year subscription which is good because this will allow you to monitor your background actively.
I have used tons of these services and like I said there are good ones and bad ones. The bad ones have few sources and usually do not provide much information. To avoid getting ripped off be sure you use one that offers a money back guarantee, preliminary results and some form of customer service.