Background checks can be taken out to look up public records online with information about a person and to search the history on someone. This type of search is often done by an employer when somebody is applying for a job that requires a high level of trust for example applying to work in a bank, airport, law enforcement or a hospital. Private businesses are amongst those that use this kind of service the most regularly to check possible criminal records on a person, their credit record or past employment background. These checks in the past were used solely by the police and private investigators but with the rapid growth of the Internet a lot of these records have become accessible by the public.
Running a background check on someone can help to be better informed about that persons history and assist in making less subjective evaluations about them. Caution does however have to be taken by those running this kind of search facility as many people can view this kind of thing as a violation of their privacy or discrimination against them. It may be wise to run a check to get reports on a persons credit or criminal history without their prior knowledge.
A number of web based companies around the world have bought public records information and used it to populate databases within their search websites. The main reason this has been done is to help the general public in finding a person and being able to locate them internationally. Phone numbers, email addresses, names, previous employers and other data is then used to search for more detailed information on people and to run background checks online.