The Birth of the Online Background Check

Over the last few months, I have been fulfilling an assignment for the online consumer review site I am a researcher and tester by trade and so they brought me into this project to help them find the most effective, dependable, powerful, easy to use, and lowest priced public record search sites on the market today. At first I figured it would be no big deal! How suprised was I when I began to see just how many sites have sprung up in the last couple of years. It used to be that the only real public record service you could access on the internet was a phone number lookup or maybe a specific sex offender registry. Most background checks were done with paper applications to background agencies. These reports could end up taking weeks or months to process as they traveled to different destinations from your past looking for anything that might have been amiss.

Enter high speed internet... enter really high speed internet... enter terabyte hard disk space (you may not have even heard that word yet but you will probably get a hard drive with a terabyte sized drive when you buy your next computer. So massive storage capacity coupled with extremely fast bandwith (how fast your browser performs essentially) opens the door to a new era of online services. With digital encryption added to a web browser, you can safely pass sensitive information without fear of it falling into the wrong hands.

So for the first time in history, all the necessary pieces are in place to allow many new and exciting services to reach Ma and Pa kettle right in their own living room. We can get so much done with just a paypal account and a computer with a high speed internet connection that we will rarely have to leave our homes for anything! One industry that has quickly sprung up in the wake this high tech boom is the Public Record Search arena.

So what is public record search all about? Allow me to briefly explain... Nearly everything that happens in the U.S.A is recorded digitally. Medical records are now online. School records have been for some time now. Employee records are online. Criminal records, court records, social security number records, mariage records, divorce records, birth and death reords, sex offender records, phone records, cell phone records (different thing actually), geneology/family history records... it is all stores in databases that are now connected to internet.

Public record sites are basically glorified (to put it lightly) phone books. They gather data and make it available to the public. But instead of just phone numbers and addresses, they are gathering everything... and I mean everything... into central locations so that the public can search it for themselves. This may sound a bit creepy and big brotherish but to me it is actually empowering in many ways. I would much rather have all this data available to the general public rather than just to government agencies or big corporations. That way, I can just as easily look up information on President Obama as he can on me. In fact, as a test I actually did run a background check on Obama and was amazed at how much info it had including address history, neighbors, unlisted phone numbers, etc. Maybe I need to watch out for men in black suits and sunglasses after saying that...

The point is, massive amounts of information are now easily accessibly on the internet. And there are many legitimate reasons for needing that information. Parents can run criminal records checks on their children's teachers or they can run reverse cell phone lookups on their kids cell phones. People can run background checks on themselves to ensure that no inaccurate data is on a report that could cost them employment opportunities. Voters can run public record searches on political candidates or even those already in office to ensure they know the truth about their leaders. The applications are endless!

To get started, simply click on any of the categories on the left. The information super-highway is in full force... are you going to take a ride?