Whether you are hired or promoted for a job may depend on the
information revealed in a background check. For some jobs, screening
is required by federal or state law. The current emphasis on
security and safety has dramatically increased the number of
employment background checks conducted.
you are applying for an apartment or are a Landlord, background and
credit checks may determine if the application for leasing will be
accepted. Whether you are an individual or a business, knowing the
information that is being reported is important. Many errors are
made every day in credit information, so you want to make sure yours
is always correct and up to date.
Direct Screening offers affordable and comprehensive criminal background checks for personal, tenant, and employment screening. These results are returned online instantly.
Be Proactive - Protect Yourself
From Identity Theft
Identity thieves rob more than 500,000 Americans every year. These steps
will help you reduce your risk of identity theft. the following are ten
ways you can protect yourself from being one of them.
Your Social Security number
The most important step is to guard your Social Security number
-- it is the key to your credit report and banking accounts and
is the prime target of criminals. Do not print your
Social Security number on your checks. After applying for a
loan, credit card, rental or anything else that requires a
credit report, request that your Social Security number on the
application be truncated or completely obliterated and your
original credit report be shredded before your eyes or returned
to you once a decision has been made. A lender or rental manager
needs to retain only your name and credit score to justify a
your credit report
Credit reports can alert you to activity in your
financial records. A monitoring service, such as
Privacy Guard, will notify you whenever someone applies for
credit in your name or checks your credit history. You then can be
proactive; call the person and ask, "Why are you checking my credit?" It
might be a landlord or employer; it might be legitimate.
Now you can check your credit
Look over your report carefully and make sure
to correct any errors you find
a shredder and use it
Identity thieves may use your garbage to obtain personal information.
Shred all old bank and credit statements, as well as "junk mail"
credit-card offers, before trashing them. Use a crosscut shredder --
they cost more than regular shredders but are superior.
your name from marketing lists
The three credit-reporting bureaus -- Equifax, Experian and TransUnion
-- all maintain marketing lists that may contain your information.
Contact these agencies to remove your name from the lists. You also
should add your name to the name-deletion lists of the Direct Marketing
Association's Mail Preference Service and Telephone Preference Service
used by banks and other marketers. Removing your name from these lists
reduces the number of pre-approved credit offers you receive. Read
the fine print on your bank and credit applications. Many of these forms
will tell you that they will share your information with their partners.
Have you ever received a telemarketing phone call telling you that
because you purchased something with your MasterCard from XYZ Bank, or
last four digits of 1234, that they have a special offer for you? Where
do you think they got this information? From your bank or credit card
company. Although they are legally restricted from giving out your
complete financial information, they are selling your name and spending
habits, obviously your phone number and address and your spending
habits. You must demand in writing
for them to stop selling
your information. Some financial institutions will cancel your account
or threaten to do so if you make this demand, as this is an income
generator for them. Search and find companies who respect your privacy
and you will have one more reason to sleep better at night.
Watch what you carry in your wallet
Do not keep your Social Security card in your wallet or carry
extra credit cards or other important identity documents except
when needed. These documents can give thieves ready access to
your accounts. Too many people are guilty of carrying every
credit card they own, their checkbook, debit card and many times
their Social Security card just in case. One quick purse
snatch, and within minutes the thief has access to your entire
financial life. These thieves are prepared to take action
immediately, long before you get over your shock and start
making calls to your bank and creditors.
Place the contents of your wallet on a
photocopy machine. Copy both sides of your license and credit
cards so you have all the account numbers, expiration dates and
phone numbers if your wallet or purse is stolen.
Mail payments from a safe location
Do not mail bill payments and checks from home. They can be
stolen from your mailbox. Take them to the post office.
Monitor your Social Security activity
Order your Social Security Earnings and
Benefits statement once a year to check for fraud.
Monitor your credit-card activity
Carefully examine your credit-card statements for fraudulent
charges before paying them. If you don't need or use
department-store or bank-issued credit cards, close the
who you are talking to
give your credit-card number or personal information over the
phone unless you have initiated the call and trust that
"Reward Yourself for
Having Excellent Credit"
Who you are
online is as important as who you are
offline. Naturally, professionals, parents,
teachers, college applicants, graduate
school applicants, job seekers, employers,
and daters have raised serious and
legitimate concerns about how to deal with
this reality and with the ever-increasing
amount of information about each of us on
Parents now need to take extra precautions
to ensure their teenager's reputation and
can assist you in building value for your family future.
Hundreds of sites sell your personal contact, social
security and financial information. There are ways to stop
it. There are ways to monitor and manage your online reputation to build an asset
for both your life and career.
One such company is
ReputationDefender, a worldwide leader in comprehensive
identity management for the web. They have pioneered the most
comprehensive product for managing the personal information
of individuals on the Internet.