Background checks entail the process of checking an individual's criminal history, personal information, and professional and academic certifications. For many years, background checks have been a critical step in the hiring process for most companies. In recent years, background checks have become even more vital as a way of preventing fraud and protecting the public. In this article, we will explore why background checks are essential in today's society, how they help prevent fraud, and how they protect the public.
Why are Background Checks Important in Today's Society?
As individuals go about their daily routines, they often interact with people from all walks of life. Most people in society today are honest and trustworthy, but unfortunately, there are a few who are not. Background checks are designed to protect society from those few who may do harm intentionally or unintentionally. Background checks help to ensure that the people we interact with are honest and that they will not jeopardize our safety or well-being.
In addition, the relevance of background checks has increased in recent years due to criminal activities such as identity theft, terrorism, and cybercrime. It is a crucial step in the hiring process, not only for companies but also for any organization that interacts with the public. For this reason, a thorough background check is not only essential in hiring processes, but it is increasingly becoming a requirement in several other areas.
How Do Background Checks Help Prevent Fraud?
One of the significant reasons why background checks are critical in today's society is that they help prevent fraud. This is particularly important in employment scenarios. A background check can help detect people with a history of fraudulent activities. By conducting background checks, companies can minimize the risk of hiring individuals with a history of illegal behavior.
Background checks can reveal important details such as past criminal activities, past employment records, and any instances of bankruptcy. This information is critical in understanding whether a candidate is suitable for a specific position. It is also helps organizations avoid lawsuits or legal liability by retaining employees with questionable backgrounds.
How Do Background Checks Protect Public Safety?
Background checks are a crucial step to protecting the public. This is because in many cases, criminals with malicious intent often slip through the cracks and gain access to sensitive information or positions of power. By conducting background checks, companies can limit access and exposure to sensitive information, and prevent malicious actions from taking place.
Additionally, background checks also protect the public by ensuring that people in certain positions are fit to perform their duties. For example, people who work in areas such as education, healthcare, and law enforcement must undergo background checks to get their licenses. Background checks ensure that these professions are kept in check, and the public is protected in case of any malpractice from these professionals.
The relevance of background checks in today's society cannot be overstated. There have been several cases where organizations have suffered enormous losses due to the actions of employees with questionable backgrounds. For instance, in 2017, Equifax, one of the most famous credit reporting agencies, suffered a massive data breach- compromising the sensitive information of over 143 million people. It was later discovered that the breach was as a result of negligence in their hiring process. Four Equifax executives were charged with insider trading and failure to disclose crucial internal information that exposed the company to the massive data breach. These criminal charges, which could have been prevented with a simple background check, ended up costing the company $700 million in settlements and loss of reputation.
Another famous example of a background check failure is in the case of John Allen Muhammad and Lee Boyd Malvo, who were responsible for the 2002 Beltway sniper attacks. Muhammad had a history of violent offenses and was disqualified from joining the military due to his criminal record. Malvo, on the other hand, was a minor, and his previous record was not taken into account during their scheming, which led to their brutal attacks.
Background checks are essential in today's society for many reasons, including preventing fraud, protecting public safety, and minimizing legal risks. With the increasing criminal activities, the relevance of background checks has become more vital than ever. It helps determine the level of trustworthiness of an individual and ensures that the people we interact with are honest and will not pose a threat to ourselves or society as a whole.
It is worth noting that background checks should be conducted correctly, and they should comply with all legal requirements. In the long run, by ensuring the hiring of the best-suited candidates and safeguarding the public, background checks are of utmost importance in today's society.