Online investigating myths

online background checks

Using the internet for investigations, including due diligence background checks, is becoming more and more commonplace. Online works great in certain situations, such as when the client needs a quick first pass or you want to fly under the radar and can’t make calls to former co-workers.

However, depending on budget, time frame, and level of risk, telephone and on-site research may be needed. Also, the internet isn’t always the quick and easy approach, and it has it’s drawbacks. There are lots of myths about using the web for research or investigations, including my favorites:

I can find everything online

Um, no you can’t. Online news archives are limited, certain court and other public records don’t make it online for a variety of reasons, and Google won’t tell you what someone’s co-workers really think of them.

It’s on the internet, so it must be true

Everything you find, no matter what the situation, needs to be checked and re-checked. Sometimes that means going offline and picking up the phone or doing some manual research. Don’t get caught by clerical errors, fake news, or any missing pieces.

I can find it fast

There’s no quick answer or one-stop shop for online online research or investigations. It involves searching multiple sources and scanning hundreds (even thousands!) of results before going back for more. It’s a long and always-changing process.

The internet is an essential tool for due diligence and other types of investigations. But keep in mind it’s not the be-all, end-all – and it’s often just the first phase of a more complex investigation.


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