Sunday, November 4, 2018

Why High Schools & Parents Need to Start Preparing Teens Now for the “Real World”!

Is Your Teen Ready for the "Real World"?

Is Your Teen really ready for the “Real World”?

Most likely your answer to this question will range anywhere from “I think so”, or “I’m not sure”, to “No Way”!

The reality is that many young people aren’t really prepared for the “adult” world. They know very little of what it is like to have a job or what it takes to live completely on their own.

That is why the time is now for Parents and High Schools to step up!

More attention needs to be paid to teaching our teens the skills needed by employers and the skills needed that will help them succeed in life.

And this is what we all can do to help…..

When it comes to hiring young employees, companies are looking for a variety of things. Of course they want new hires to have at least the intro-level skills necessary to do the job.

But many are willing to hire those a little less qualified if they have the important “basic” skills that they truly covet in a good employee.  

These skills are really more like character traits. They include things like having a good attitude and a strong motivation to do a good job. Employers also desire an employee that is on time and comes in ready to focus on work.

Many employers find new young hires unprepared in these areas, and that is where schools and parents can help. 

When it comes to education, most high schools focus on preparing their students for college, or at least some type of further education or training. This makes sense when the goal is to put them on a path to getting into a good school and then landing a good job.

But there is little or no emphasis on the other skills they need to succeed once they are on that path.

And practically no time at all is spent discussing what young people need to do and how they need to behave when they get a job.

However, the burden to teach these skills cannot fall solely on our schools.
Parents need to do their part.

Long before it comes time for your teens to get a job or get ready for college or trade schools, parents, need to be realistic and straightforward with their teens.

Teach them “life skills” like how to open and manage a checking account, how to do their taxes, and even how to read a basic contract.

Talk about finances and the need for a budget. Explain about a pay check and the many withdrawals taken for things like taxes, insurance, and even a 401k.

Then show them how to create a household budget based on their take-home pay. Focus on the necessities like mortgage or rent payments, taxes, utilities, car payments, gas, and food. Then show them how to life on what’s left! 

Many parents are reluctant to talk about money with their kids. It is a topic often dismissed as one that our kids shouldn’t have to deal with “just yet” or one that makes some parents uneasy. But being upfront about money is perhaps one of the most important conversations you can have.

If you, for whatever reason, don’t want to share your real salary or household budget, don’t let that stop you from discussing finances. Use a hypothetical salary, or even when your teen gets their first a job, use their salary. Then help them set a budget of their own.

The goal is not to allow your uneasiness in talking about money stop the conversation from happening.

It is also important to talk with your kids about about social media. They need to recognize the potential ramifications of what they post on their future college acceptance and job search. Act as an example of responsible online behavior and don’t shy away from monitoring theirs. 

Also share with your teen what it is really like in the workplace. Focus on what employers expect and what they look for in a new hire. Use yourself and your own work experiences as an example. Do this long before they are even thinking about getting that first job. Be sure they understand that approaching each and every job they ever have with dedication, enthusiasm, and a good work ethic is key.  

Then continue by making sure they also understand that their future college acceptance and job search will most likely include a background check ~ and what they do now can have an impact!

The first, and most important, thing to realize is that Background Checks are a Reality!

They are used to make employment decisions. They help determine whether you are eligible to rent an apartment, condo, or home. And background checks are even being used by colleges and universities as a criteria for acceptance!

That is why it makes sense to know as much as possible about how you can help prepare your children for background checks now.

This preparation needs to begin early ~ long before our children are even thinking about picking a school or getting a job or apartment. And the key to this preparation is knowing exactly what will be checked, why it is checked, and what can be found during your background check”.

Find out more about preparing your teens for their job search in “What We Need to Do to Help Our Children Get Ready for College, the Job Market, and Background Checks”. 

But it doesn’t stop there.

Even after your teens have graduated, whether it be from high school, a trade or tech school, or college, it is important they understand what it will take to stand out and land their first job. 

In “Attention New Grads! What You need to Do to Land Your First Job!”, you will find 10 tips to help your new grad get hired. These tips cover everything from making sure their resume is “background check ready”, cleaning up their social media, to the importance of networking and focusing their job search. 

We all want our children to succeed in life. We want them to be happy, healthy, secure, and productive. 

And it is our duty to make sure they have the skills and knowledge to achieve these goals.

Doing what we can now both in our schools and in our homes to prepare them simply makes sense. Are your kids ready?

Authored by   

You can also find out more About Us and our Business Mentoring and Security Consulting services too!

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Can a Hacker Erase My Criminal Record?

Can a Hacker Erase my Criminal Records?

This question was recently posted on a popular Q & A site and, honestly, the question itself had me curious.

What was the the person who posted this really trying to accomplish? Did they actually think that “hacking” into a database and trying to wipe their criminal past clean was a viable option?

Of course, the answer to that is no….and any reasonable person would understand this. But then the question becomes, what is this person really asking, and why?

After thinking about it a bit, I believe it comes down to this, those with a criminal history are often desperate. They are looking for any way to get beyond the stigma of their past. And this is especially true when they are trying to change and better themselves. 

Many with a criminal record find that moving forward and trying to get out of a dangerous neighborhood or find a job is often difficult and frustrating. I understand and empathize with this.

So that is what I had in mind when I sat down to share my answer….

If by your question you mean could someone “hack” into an online database and completely erase your criminal record, the answer is NO. While it may be possible for the hacker to breach a particular site, criminal records are housed on many sites, both virtual and physical. 

There are many online databases that hold criminal records. Some are tied directly to the local and state courts where the offense occurred. Other sites are run by companies who collect criminal records for public access. There are many of these types of databases and it would be extremely difficult, if not impossible, to get into each one and erase records. 

Then there are the physical sites to deal with. Courts hold their own “paper” records of court cases within their jurisdiction. These records would be extremely difficult to “erase”.

The more important question, however, is why you want your criminal records erased and what you hope to gain from it. If it is because having a criminal history is keeping you from achieving a goal ~ getting a job or buying/renting a home ~ I understand. If that is the case, there are better ways to go about it! 

If possible, you can pursue an expungement of your record(s). However, this will cost money and there are definite restrictions on the kind of records that are even eligible. Instead, you are better off to be prepared to deal with your criminal history

First, if possible, look for employers in your area that are open to hiring ex-offenders. If that is not an option, be ready to explain and mitigate your criminal past. Be upfront with potential employers. Be prepared to explain the circumstances surrounding your offense(s) and what you have done since then to change and better yourself. 

Find out more about what you can do to get hired even with a criminal record in; Job Seekers: Do You Have a Criminal Record? Find out the Best Time for You to Tell Your New Employer!”.

You can find the original question and any other answers submitted here!

While I think my answer was on the right track, after posting it I realized I had not gone far enough.
It needs to be emphasized that “hacking” into any database is a criminal offense. Trying to take this action would simply add another charge to a person’s already problematic criminal history. So why try? It simply makes no sense.

It is important to be smart instead. 

Ex-offenders looking for a job will achieve a better outcome by following these suggestions: 

Take responsibility and be ready to explain any circumstances that lead to you committing your crime(s). When you are  truthful, it is much more likely that the employer will put your past in context.  

But don’t let your conviction be the focus – stress what you’ve learned from the experience.   

Take this time to explain what you have done to reform. Share clear examples of any training programs you have completed or any certificates you have earned (even those earned while you may have been incarcerated). 

You should also include any letters of recommendation from employers, mentors, or even support group leaders. Be sure to emphasize any examples of your reliability and trustworthiness.  

What your potential employer is really looking for is anything you have done to show you have moved on and have done the work to improve yourself.

While sharing this personal information may be difficult, it can go a long way towards getting you a second chance and showing you have moved on.

For many employers, finding out you lied can be a bigger deal breaker than discovering you having a criminal history. That is why being prepared and  ready to take responsibility is crucial”. Find out more here!

Following these steps will show your desire to change for the better. Committing another criminal offense by trying to “hack” into your criminal records would definitely do more harm than good. 

While it is clear I certainly believe in second chances, it is important to realize that there are employers out there who believe the same. 

These employers recognize that “people cannot only be defined by their pasts. Our greatest ability as human beings is being able to learn from our mistakes.  

We need to recognize this.

We as employers and Background Check companies need to move past the notion that “Once a Criminal, Always a Criminal”. People can change. And giving them another chance can help make that change more permanent”, excerpt from “Once a Criminal, Always a Criminal ~ Why We need to Believe in Second Chances”.

While trying to find a job when you have a criminal record is most definitely hard, it is not impossible.

Ex-offenders may need to start small. Begin by taking any job you can get. Work hard and prove yourself. Then, when you are ready, try for a better job. You may still find employers who are not willing to take a chance on you, but keep going.  

It is important to persevere in order to get what you truly want ~ a productive and worthwhile future.

Authored by  

We can help you in your Job Search and get your resume “background check ready” !

Find out more About Us and our Background Investigation, Business Mentoring, and Security Consulting services too!

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Looking for a Job? Know What Information You Need Before You Apply!

Do You know what information you need to have ready before applying for a job?

It is most likely that you already know the basics you will need ~ education, work history, and references quickly come to mind.

But did you know that in many cases, that is not enough? Most job applications or personal information forms ask for much more. 

And while searching and applying for jobs is always a stress-filled proposition, there is nothing worse than sitting down to start filling out the application and only then finding out that you don’t have everything you need!

There is actually a whole list of information you should have on-hand long before you even think of applying for any new job.

Whether you are applying in-person or online, having all the information you need at your fingertips makes sense. Not only will it reduce your stress, it will make the entire process, including the potential employment background check, go as smoothly as possible.

That is why it pays for you to be prepared!

And that preparation starts by knowing exactly What you need and Why!

Be Ready to Supply these 6 Things Before Starting Your Job Application:

  • Past Addresses
  • Employment
  • Education
  • References
  • Driver’s License or ID
  • Social Security Card

Past Addresses
You should know the complete address of anywhere you have lived (rented or owned) in the last 7 to 10 years. Include things like your parent’s home and college dorms and/or rentals if applicable, plus anywhere else you have lived within that time frame.

Make sure you are as precise as possible. Be ready to supply the complete address, including zip code. It also helps to lists the dates you have lived there and the type of residence (parents, rental, own, etc.).

This information is important for the background check stage of your hiring process. It helps the investigator to know exactly what courts to search for potential criminal and/or civil records. 

When listing your past employments, be sure to include the entire name of the company where you worked, your job title, and the dates of your employment. It is also vital to be ready to supply a contact name (even if that is simply the HR department), their number, and a working email, if possible, where they can be reached. Make sure the information you provide is current and accurate.

Employment screeners will contact these sources to verify the job information you have listed on your application and/or your resume. Making it easy for them by supplying as much information as possible will help expedite this process and put you in a good light.

Most employers are interested in knowing the highest education level you have completed. This may be anything from your high school diploma, a bachelor’s, master’s, or doctorate degree, or even a trade or other type of school. 

However, it is best if you have the following information on each school you attended in case it is required: the exact name and location of the school, the date(s) you attended, the highest level earned (diploma, degree, certificate), and a contact name, phone number, and/or email where this information can be confirmed.

Once again, the information you supply will be used during the background check and good, working contact information helps complete this verification as quickly as possible. 

When providing references, be sure to list their name, company where they work (if applicable), their contact phone number and email. You should also include how you know them (whether it is a professional or personal connection) and the number of years you have known them.

Before listing anyone, it is best you contact them beforehand and make sure they are willing to act as a reference. If they respond with any hesitation, it makes sense to move on to someone else.

You can find out more about how to pick the best references in “Your References ~ Be Smart, Ask First”!

Here is where supplying the best contact information possible is really crucial. Verifying references and employments are the most frequent causes for background check delays. The easier you make it for the investigator, the easier it will to get the information your potential new employer needs.

Driver’s License or State Issued ID
Employers will often make a copy of this, so it is best if you have it on hand. Check to make sure it has not expired and, if it has, obtain a valid one before starting your application.

Your License or ID is most often used for identification and address verification purposes. It is also critical if a company car or any kind of company vehicle goes with the job for which you are applying.

Social Security Card
Often applicants think it is enough to simply know the number and are surprised when asked to produce it by a potential employer. So, before you go, make sure you have your card. If you can’t find it, search online to find out the steps you should take and allot the time needed to get a replacement.

The goal in having all this information readily available is to expedite the application process and make it easier to complete the background check. When it comes to your possible employment screening, providing the most complete and accurate information you can will make it much easier to verify your information and lessen the likelihood of delays.

Find out more about making your resume “Background Check Readyhere!

And while providing all this information may seem excessive, in reality it is one of the best things you can do.

Number one, it shows that you are prepared, which any employer would appreciate. Number two, it helps you be seen in a professional light. And, Number three, it shows that you truly want the job!

So, before applying for your next new job, take the time to gather the information you need now. Not only will it lessen the inevitable stress related to any job search, it will enable you to provide exactly what your potential employer wants to know!

Authored by  

Ready to apply for an new job? Contact Us first! We can help you get your resume “Background Check Ready” and even do a Social Media search to find out what is “out there” about you! Find out more in our Background Check and Job Search services!

Learn more About Us and our Business Mentoring and Security Consulting services too! 

Sunday, August 19, 2018

What can You Do to Screen Out Dangerous Employees?

What can You Do to Screen Out Dangerous Employees?

When it comes to hiring, employers are understandably cautious. Of course their first worry is whether or not their new hire will be able to do the job. But, it doesn’t end there. 

Many have become even more concerned that they may be bringing someone into the company who could possibly cause harm to their other employees, their customers, and even to their company.

That is why they want to do whatever they can beforehand to at least lessen the possibility of bringing in a potentially dangerous hire!

The question then becomes….How?

Here is an answer I posted in Quora recently in answer to this question:
What evaluations are the best to screen out employees capable of aggressive or violent acts?”.

My answer:
"The safety of your employees, your customers, and your company itself should be a priority for any business. The first step in achieving this is by consistently using thorough pre-employment background checks. This screening needs to include a search for criminal records in anyplace where your applicant has lived and/or worked within the last 7 -10 years. It should also include past employment verification and reference checks

Some may think checking references is a waste of time, after all, anyone listed by the applicant is bound to say only good things about them, right? While that is a legitimate concern, in reality, references can be unpredictable and, if asked the right questions, may reveal more than intended. 

In addition, a good background check company will recommend that “developed” references are also checked. Developed references are ones that are identified through the listed references. Doing these checks helps an employer get a good overall picture of their applicant.

However, it can’t stop there. If you decide to make the hire, there are also things you can do after that to help protect your other employees, customers, and company. Workplace observation is key. Establishing sound procedures within your company for reporting unsafe or worrisome behavior is a start. Then it is important to follow that up with direct supervisory observation and discussions with the identified employee.

Find out how you can create and implement good employee safety practices in Workplace Safety Needs to be a Team Effort!

Another step you should take is to periodically re-screen your existing employees. Establish a protocol and stick to it. You may decide to re-screen on a rotating time-frame, or only when considering someone for promotion or there is cause. This cause can stem from workplace observations or concerns.

Learn more about How and When to Re-Screen your employees in Re-Screening Existing Employees? The Pros and Cons for Your Small Business.

Whatever steps you take to protect your company, it is vital that you are consistent. Don’t pick and choose who you screen. Make it a practice to do background checks on all new hire and consider re-screening existing employees as needed.

You can see the original question and other responses here!".

However, despite your best efforts, it is still possible that a dangerous situation can happen in your workplace.

This threat may come from an employee or even a visitor or intruder in your company. 

That is why, if you haven’t done so, you should develop a Workplace Vulnerability Assessment.

The goal of a Workplace Vulnerability Assessment is to establish policies and procedures for your employees to follow in the event of a hostile or dangerous situation. You will need to address everything from the physical security of your employees to safeguarding your systems, controls, and company assets.

The most important goal of this assessment is to create a plan so every employee knows exactly what they need to do and how to react if something happens. 

You will need to identify the best route for every employee to take to get out of your building and, if that is not possible, safe places to hide. You will even need to identify tasks that key employees should initiate if law enforcement or medical help needs to be contacted.

Then, after developing your strategy, it is vital to practice your planned procedures long before there is an actual threat. Through this you can identify and correct any weaknesses in your strategy and make sure your employees are well trained. The employee training should include both table top exercises and actual drills.

Are you ready for your company to develop their own safety strategy? 

We can provide you with a Comprehensive Vulnerability Assessment or guide you in conducting table top exercises and drills to identify areas for improvement ~ all tailored to your company’s specific needs.

While no one can ever predict the future, doing what you can in advance to keep your workplace as safe as possible makes sense. Not only does it protect your company and your employees, it establishes you as an employer who truly cares about the safety and security of the people they hire. And that is a place where people will want to work!

Authored by   

To find out more about other ways you can protect your company, visit our Background Investigation and Security Consulting services pages. 

You can also find out more About Us and What Our Happy Clients have to say!

Sunday, July 29, 2018

Why You Need to Know How a “Certificate of Relief” will Help You Hire more Safely ~ even if Your New Hire has a Record!

Learn How a Certificate of Relief will Help You Safely Hire Ex-Offenders
Would You Hire Someone with a 
Criminal Record?

That is a question that plagues both employers and job applicants who have any kind of criminal history.

When it comes to employers, many are understandably wary of hiring applicants with a criminal record. They worry that they could cause problems for their company, their other employees, and their customers. They think that by hiring an ex-offender they are putting themselves and others at risk. 

Companies also fear that hiring someone who already has a criminal history makes them more vulnerable to negligent hiring lawsuits. Employers can be found liable if, while during the course of business, one of their employees commits a criminal offense or acts in any way that could cause harm to someone else. 

Ex-offenders also have their own set of worries and fears. They know that even after they have completed their sentences, they face a prejudice that is hard to overcome. And that prejudice is crystal clear when it comes to getting hired.

However, helping those with a criminal history get a job is not only important for them, it is good for our society as a whole. 

When criminals are released from jail or finish a period of probation, they are, for the first time in awhile, on their own. Many make vows to themselves that things are going to be different. They dream of being a self-reliant, responsible adult.

But the problem then becomes, how can they make that happen?

It all comes down to this ~ Find a Job!

Getting hired is the key! It is a huge step for any ex-offender when it comes time to start over. Being employed not only helps them financially, it also gives ex-offenders a sense of normalcy and, most importantly, pride.

Without that step up, many will re-offend and can even end up worse than before.

This is a problem not just for them, but for all of us ~ and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and many states are starting to take notice.

One of the latest ways that some states are helping ex-offenders get a new start is by granting them a “Certificate of Relief”.

A “Certificate of Relief” is a statement by the court that an ex-offender has met a certain pre-defined set of circumstances and conditions concerning their past conviction(s). This certificate is designed to help reduce the risk to employers who hire ex-offenders.

But this certification is not given to everyone. While specific criteria may vary state to state, common conditions that ex-offenders must meet to be granted a “Certificate of Relief” are:
  • A limited number of felonies and/or misdemeanors.
  • A specific period of time has passed since the completion of their sentence (may be 12 months or more) including any probation or parole assigned.
  • They must have completed all terms of their sentence(s) including probation, substance abuse or anger management treatment.
  • They have not violated or failed to comply with any term of their criminal sentence(s). 
  • They have no criminal charge(s) pending.
  • They must be engaged in, or seeking, lawful employment, an education, training, or registered in other rehabilitative programs or have a lawful source of support.
  • Belief of the court that granting the “Certificate of Relief” would not put the safety or welfare of the public or any individual at unreasonable risk.

But perhaps the most important result of a “Certificate of Relief”, at least to employers, is that it helps protect them from liability when it comes to most negligent hiring claims. 

Considering a "Certificate of Relief", along with other background check information, to determine employment helps prove that they have done their due diligence and vetted that employee to make the safest hire possible.

In addition to the “Certificate of Relief”, many other states are revamping their expungement procedures, especially when it comes to first-time, non-violent, offenders.

These states are passing legislation that will expand the ability of ex-offenders to have their record expunged.  

In many cases, it will be is as if their conviction never existed. A job applicant would be then be able to legally state that they have never been convicted of a crime.

Many believe it is a way to give an ex-offender a second chance. Others feel it is simply a way for those convicted of a crime to hide their past”.

Find out more about the pros and cons of expungement in “Expunging Criminal Records ~ What You Need to Know”!

I believe that a “Certificate of Relief” is of more value to an employer than an expungement.

A “Certificate of Relief” still reveals an applicant’s criminal history and it offers proof that the ex-offender has met a specific set of requirements and has taken steps to move beyond their past. It also offers some protection for employers.

An expungement, however, tries to “hide” a criminal history entirely from employers, while still making them vulnerable to potential negligent hiring lawsuits.

This is unfair and results in more employers being wary to hire ex-offenders at all.

No hiring decision should ever be made blindly. 

It is possible to hire an ex-offender and to do so safely and with eyes wide open.

The key is to never skip the background check. Be sure to do background checks on each and every new hire, and use re-screening and workplace observation post-hire!

Background checks play an essential role in any businesses’ hiring practices. They give you the information you need to make an informed and safe employment decision.

No matter what current or future employment laws and regulations dictate, it ultimately comes down to this ~ whether we choose to believe in second chances.

People cannot only be defined by their pasts. Our greatest ability as human beings is being able to learn from our mistakes. We need to recognize this.

We as employers and Background Check companies need to move past the notion that “Once a Criminal, Always a Criminal”.   

People can change.  And giving them another chance can help make that change more permanent”, excerpt from “Once a Criminal, Always a Criminal ~ Why We Need to Believe in Second Chances”!

Giving those with a criminal past a second chance, while protecting the interest of employers, is possible. And if more states consider offering a “Certificate of Relief” to qualified ex-offenders, we are closer than ever to making that a reality.

Authored by    

Have Questions about Your Hiring Process or Need Help Screening Your New Hires? 
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Sunday, July 15, 2018

Do You Love Solving Puzzles? Then You Need to Think about a Career in Background Checks!

Doing a Good Background Check is like 
Solving a Puzzle.

You are given a set of pieces, “facts”, and asked to fit them together to form a comprehensive picture of your subject. In the case of employment background checks, these pieces come in the form of an applicant’s resume or application.

Your client, the employer, wants to know whether the information listed in that resume is true and accurate. Only then will they feel justified in making their new hire.

Your job is to do the research necessary and provide them with the verified pieces of information they need. Those pieces are then used to form a bigger picture of the applicant.

This is the puzzle you are asked to solve ~ and I find this work fascinating!

By nature, I am a curious person. I love to learn about people ~ their skills, their interests, and what drives them.

Doing background checks is a natural extension of this curiosity.

By nature, we are curious creatures. We wonder and surmise about many things. 

I know I am never happier than when I have a puzzle to solve. That is why I find myself again and again drawn to mysteries, both fictional and real-life.  

And I believe that is what has lead me along my career path ~ running my own Background Check investigation company!

My love of a good mystery helped me develop my critical thinking. It has also taught me how to evaluate information, how to examine things below the surface, and how to take random pieces of information and form a picture that leads to a solution.

These traits have been invaluable assets in my business.  

Many times the investigations I run are all about analyzing clues and getting a clear picture of my subject, whether it is a person or a business. Either way, I need to gather and determine the accuracy of information. I also need to put those pieces together.

This is the profile I then supply my client. They trust me to weed through data and present them with a clear and concise solution”, excerpt from  “How Following my Love of Mysteries Lead Me to My Perfect Business”!

Finding a career that speaks to your interests, skills, and talents is key. When that happens, you will find the most fulfillment and success.

I find the entire process of background checks and due diligence investigations immensely satisfying. I love taking the multiple pieces I discover about an applicant, or even a company, and turning that into a comprehensive and verified profile for my clients.

So why not put your own Puzzle Solving Skills to Good Use?

If you have the same curiosity, a love for solving puzzles, and a drive to find a solution to problems, then you should consider a career in background checks!

You may find it the perfect way to turn something that you love into a real career!

Do you think you might be ready to take the next step start a job doing background checks, or simply want more information? Or maybe you may even be thinking about starting a screening company of your own?

We are ready to answer your questions and offer the business mentoring services that can help!

Our Mentoring Services include sessions designed to cover both general topics, those relevant to all small businesses, and background check specific topics for those that want to start their own screening company.

Our General Business Sessions cover: 

  • “Running a Small Business” - an overview
  • Setting Up Your Business - an overview
  • Choosing Your Products and/or Services
  • The Pros and Cons of Outsourcing
  • Marketing Your Business
  • Social Media and Your Brand
  • Business Blogging

We also offer sessions specific to the background check industry. These cover topics such as:

  • How to Do a Background Check - general topics and step by step guides
  • Creating Compliant Release and Disclosure Forms
  • Understanding and Creating Your Reports
  • Compliance with Federal, State, and Local Laws
  • How to Do the Research
  • How to Safely Deal with PII (Personal Identifying Information)
  • Creating a Company Privacy Statement
  • How to Deal with Delays
  • and much more

Discover more about how API can help you start or revamp your business here and 
Contact Us Today!

So, if are you driven by curiosity and puzzle solving, then doing background checks might be just the place where you find your true calling.

What are You Waiting for? Get Started Now!

Authored by  

Learn more About Us and Our Background Investigation, Business Mentoring, and 

And find out What Our Happy Clients have to Say too!

Sunday, July 1, 2018

Why You Need to Worry What Your Online Activity Says about You!

We are living in very interesting times. 
Our country seems to be divided over a multitude of issues, with no reconciliation in sight.

Everything from Immigration, Minority Rights, Health Care…and these just top the list… instigates arguments, even among friends.

And while healthy debate and peaceful protest have been, and I hope always will be, a vital part of who we are as a country and as people, somethings seem to be lost ~ namely our Humanity and Civility.

The fundamental differences between us are now cause for a growing amount of divisiveness and fear. Protests often lead to violence. Streets are blocked and people are accosting each other with words and actions, even to the point of destroying property and causing physical harm.

Although this behavior certainly has me worried, this divisiveness is even more apparent online. 

Social Media is being used in a way that I believe was never intended. Instead of hopping online to chat with our connections and see what they are up to, visit our favorite business pages, and even read an amusing meme or two, our feeds are filled with arguments, name-calling, and intolerance.

Each side in these arguments is so sure they are right that neither is interested in listening to anyone with a different point of view. Instead they will cite “facts” to support their cause, simply taking at face value anything that helps them prove their point and dismissing anything that doesn’t.

So, what used to be a way to stay connected with family and friends has now often become something mean spirited and a cause of anxiety for many.

Even more troubling is that being online seems to give many the illusion of being “anonymous”. This makes many feel a sense of freedom to say anything and everything they want without restraint.

Personally, much of what I see online just makes me sad.

I find myself blocking sites, and even certain people, simply because of the things they post. But, even more importantly, I worry about what this is all saying about us as people. 

Is what we see online showing us as a country filled with people who are caring, empathetic, proud, and kind? Or does it make us look mean-spirited and intolerant.

Are you ready to ask yourself what your online activity is really saying about you?

I think if we take a hard look and are honest with ourselves, we may not like what we see.

That is why I practice my “4 Question Rule” when I am online.

Before I post or “like” anything, I ask myself:

  1. Am I proud, interested, or entertained by what I am about to “like” or share?
  2. Will I continue to feel that way days ,weeks, or even years after I post it?
  3. Would I want my children or grandchildren to read what I post?
  4. Do I have real facts to back up what I am saying, or at least the conviction that it is meant to truly help others?

Only if I am satisfied with the answers will I then hit “like” or post it! My goal is to try to keep in mind what effect my posts will have on others and not go out of my way to hurt or truly offend anyone.

I think what I post says a lot about me as a human being. It is a glimpse into my beliefs and values ~ and I want that picture to be a positive one.

And if you have a business or are looking for a job, what you post and the picture it paints can have more of an impact!

Facebook “likes” can present a picture of who you are and what you think. Some things, like causes you believe in, you may want to share. While other things, like your politics, you may not.

While this may not mean much if you simply use Facebook to connect with friends, for those of you cultivating an online business presence, this can be more problematic.

The professional brand you build needs to be protected. Creating trust between yourself and your customers takes time. But it can take very little to lose it”, excerpt from “Ready to Improve Your Brand? Why You Need Think Before Clicking “Like”!

If You have a Business, keep this in mind ~ What you post can alienate existing or potential clients and it may even attract interest you never intended.  

If You are looking for a Job or Promotion, understand that your social posts  and activity may reveal information to a potential employer you don’t want them to know, things like your personal beliefs, party behavior, and more.

Read more about the power of your social media posts and “likes” here!

It is important to understand early the potential impact of our social posts on our image and future employment. We need to be aware that what we share online paints a picture of us ~ and our goal should be for that picture to be a positive one. 

That is why we need to start early. We must teach our children how to use social media responsibly.

This is especially important because of the increasing use of “Social Media Checks” in determining employment and even promotions.

This type of check is becoming a more common part of many background checks. Companies and colleges will search online for both positive and negative posts that could have an impact on their admittance or employment decisions.

Parents and young people should be aware that their social media posts will have an impact on how they are perceived. They can result in them being seen in either a positive or a negative light”, and that this can have an impact on their future.

Find out more in “What We Need to Do to Help Our Children Get Ready for College, the Job Market, and Background Checks”.

But remember, if what you are posting is in support of something you truly believe in, 
Go for It! 
That is when you should be ready and willing to Stand Up!

But posting something without any real truth to back it up, or simply to agitate or hurt others, is not only irresponsible, it is ignorant. When I post anything, I will I OWN IT ~ both personally and professionally!

It is up to us, as adults, to set a positive example. We all need to be more aware about what we share online and the impact that what we share may have on our image and on others.

Instead of using our social posts as a way to lash out and “prove” to others just how wrong they are, take the high road.
Why not simply practice a little civility?

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