Not that long ago, the secrets of your past were difficult to access. To see someone’s criminal history, marriage records, or property information, you had to visit a government building and make a formal request for the documents you were seeking. But thanks to the Internet and background check websites like InstantCheckmate.com, you can instantly access anyone’s public records in seconds. While this service is popular among online daters who want to see if their potential mates are being honest about their past, it can be used by anybody who is curious about the history of the people in their life.
Here are five people you can learn more about right now just by checking public records.
1) Your Parents
People have a tendency to settle down after they have kids. So it’s not out of the question to think that your folks had a more colorful history than they let on. Did your mom get arrested during the anti-war protests in the 1970’s? Did your dad get slapped with a marijuana possession charge in college? You might only know them as stable, responsible adults but sometimes the squarest people were extra wild in their salad days.
2) Your Neighbors
Do the people on your block hide any dark secrets? Well, there’s only one way to find out. Do a background check to see if your neighborhood harbors a cohort of secret criminals. You’ll also be able to automatically see every registered sex offender in your vicinity. Since residence information is also public record, you can see where all your neighbors lived before they found their way over to your neck of the woods.
3) The People You Party With
Oh, sure, you trust your best friends — the people who you can count on to have your back when you need your couch moved. But what about the people you hang out with because you have a mutual love of your city’s nightlife and alcohol? Since booze has a tendency to exacerbate criminal behavior, play it safe and run a background check on your party pals. If someone has a history of committing assault during their raucous nights out, you’ll know not to hang out with them.
4) Your Co-Workers
You spend more time every day with your co-workers than your family. In fact, your ability to work successfully with the people at your company contributes to the success of your career. So it pays to see who among your colleagues has a big load of dirty laundry.
You spend an hour or more a day trapped in a cramped sedan with your fellow carpoolers. Don’t you want to know if they’re hiding something? That is, something that they don’t want to reveal in typical chit chats while you all cruise down the highway together? If one person in your group has a DUI or reckless driving charge, you’ll know to just take your own car when it’s their turn to drive
Note: Timothy Greely is a blogger living in Bismarck, North Dakota. He writes about personal safety, social media, and technology.