How to research yourself online (its more important than you think!)

This article deals with the wealth of information out there, and how to make sure yours is accurate. There are a few things I do to keep tabs on myself. The online world has an excellent memory. Your most likely have done it; Google yourself!

Type your name with quotes “a name” and see what comes up. Try all the different variants of your name. Use a different search engine too, they all have different results. A couple things that might show up, old message board postings, companies you have worked at, and organizations you are affiliated with.

Google groups also keeps track of every usenet posting from the beginning of time. Be careful what you post! Find out where you live. Try the major sites like whitepages.com, switchboard.com, yahoo white pages. Use a search engine to find other white pages. Most of these sites offer a way for you to remove your information, it isn’t a bad idea to remove as much as possible.

See your credit report. If you are a U.S. resident, you can get a copy of your credit report from the three major credit agencies once a year. So its a good idea to get one report every four months so you can keep a good look all year. The site is annualcreditreport.com.I also subscribe to a monitoring service that checks your files constantly on all 3 agencies, its worth the 5-$10 a month. Mine is through Experian.

See what your insurance companies look at. There is a company called Choicetrust that all the major insurance companies report to. Any accident you have ever had, claim on your house insurance, even if it is small will show up on their system. You can get a free copy of your report and hopefully see why your insurance rates are so high. The report you need is a C.L.U.E report. You can get one online through the website. They have personal property and auto reports. Each of these are free every year.

Run a background check. There are tons of sites that offer cheap background reports, A site that seems legit is Intelius. You can run background checks, cell phone checks, social security checks, etc. There is a great deal of free information online through your local township or city websites. Most of the time you can search through your property reports and get tax info, purchase prices, and typically a picture of the house and its layout. Check sites like zillow.com to get information about everyone around you.

Check the social sites like twitter.com, youtube.com, and facebook.com. Run a search for your name, you never know what might show up. Check the online dating world, like match.com or yahoo personals to see if someone has posted anything on you. Classmates.com is a resource that many people don’t realize gives away a great deal of information.

If you find any incorrect information on your credit report, or insurance reports, fix them asap. There are a ton of documented procedures for fixing these things, so just do some searches.

Hopefully this gives you a little insight into your online self, happy searching!