There are plenty of moments in life that you would wish you knew more about those around you. Maybe you are worried about a new neighbour who has moved in next door, or feeling anxious about hiring a new babysitter, or want to know more about someone your son has made friends with online.

Your worries and anxieties don’t come as a surprise when looking at all the media headlines about criminals, paedophiles, stalkers and countless other senseless activities taking place every day.

Violent crime recorded an increase of 19% last year while incidents of stalking and harassment have risen by an alarming rate of 41%. And according to the National Crime Agency, around 500 people are arrested every month due to some form of a child-related sexual offence.

Therefore, keeping an eye on any new acquaintances, whether it’s a new neighbour, colleague or babysitter, would be a smart and prudent step to ensure the safety of you and your loved ones.

So, how can you do some sleuthing like a professional to dig into the background of someone? Here are 4 simple and effective steps to help you uncover personal information of just about anyone the next time you are feeling worried.

1. Search engines – For an all-round basic search

google-485611_1280Search engines like Google and Bing should be your first go-to resource. But why use search engines? Because they are easily accessible, contain a massive curated source of online data, and best of all, they are free.

They can scan through trillions of pages to get you the most relevant information sources to your search within a split second. Google, for instance, crawls over 130 trillion web pages to find relevant content with an impressive speed under a second.

So if you have a name and any other piece of information of the person whose background you want to unearth, simply type it in and click search. You can even select the time period you want to search for, set a specific region to limit your findings, do a voice search or even carry out a reverse image lookup using most search engines. And this can help you uncover your subject’s online footprint, such as the social platforms they are active on, any published news media, blogs, businesses, and the likes with any type of reference to them. This data would be useful to further your search and could link you to more information to pursue.

2. People search tool – Dive deep into personal information

Once you have carried out a basic Google search, you can next turn to a people searchbinoculars-1209011_1280 tool. And what’s so special about them? Depending on which tool you use, they can become a fast, accurate, and reliable resource to help you with your investigative work.

The larger people search sites will have more extensive databases and can provide more in-depth and specific information that would otherwise be difficult for you to access easily. Nuwber, for instance, can get you access to personal and confidential information such as the person’s financial status including assets, mortgages, loans and bankruptcies, as well as any criminal records, arrest warrants, court cases and even traffic violations. You can also get access to details about their friends, closest family members and associates, which could be useful to uncover more details. And depending on what type of information you already hold, they can also help you perform reverse searches using an address, contact number or an email address.

3. Social media – Dig into their personality, character and values

Your search engine and background checking tools would have now provided you with details of social media platforms your subject is associated with. And these should be your next source of information. But why browse social media profiles? It’s because they can help you dig up a different set of information to what you have already uncovered from search engines and people search tools.

First of all, social media is a great way to explore and understand someone’s interests, preferences and taste. You can determine this from the way they manage their profile pages, the type of content they share and like, their comments, and the type of people they regularly associate with online.

This could give you some useful insights into their personality, character and values. However, keep in mind that people could also project bloated self-images on social media. But no one is perfect, and they are bound to slip out some clues every now and then. And you can detect these if you keep a lookout for any inconsistent or contradicting content across their various social profiles.

In addition, you can also discover some often obscure information through the visual content they share on social media. For instance, pictures could provide you with clues to their friends and colleagues or places they frequently visit. You can also carry out reverse image searches using the Google image search tool.

4. Your network – Get personal with your search

The sleuthing you have done so far would have helped you unearth details about personal information, personality and characteristics of the individual you are investigating. Now you need to go over each piece of detail and try to tie them in so that you can discover some common connection.

Every person is tied into several networks they associate with and you would be surprised how these could intertwine with your own. It could be a gym or a pub they have visited, the companies they have worked in, the school or university they have attended, professional organisations they are associated with, or their friends, family or neighbours.

Photos with friends or a post comment referring to their school days could all provide clues for you to find the connections. And there’s a good chance that these could lead you to someone in your own network of friends, family, colleagues or any other associates. And why is that important? Because it’s the most reliable way to seek opinions and general impressions about a person.

So, there you have it. Use these proven techniques to dive deep into someone’s background if you are in the mood to do some detective work of your own. They can get you access to enough background information of anyone, quickly and easily, with reliable data.