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Why Background Checks are Vital in Today's World of Growing Cybersecurity Threats

In recent years, there has been a growing concern about the need for background checks in today's society. With the increasing prevalence of fraud and other criminal activities across various industries, it is crucial for employers, organizations, and other entities to carry out background checks to protect their assets, customers, and the public.

Background checks are becoming an increasingly important aspect of our lives today. They provide a comprehensive glimpse into an individual's past, including any criminal or suspicious activities that may have occurred. These checks help prevent fraud and protect public safety, all while providing peace of mind to the people involved.

In this article, we will dive deeper into the importance of background checks and how they help prevent fraud and protect the public.

What are background checks?

The term "background check" refers to the process of searching and collecting information about an individual's past. This process often includes checking an individual's criminal history, education and employment history, credit history, and other relevant details.

Background checks are typically carried out by employers during the hiring process to ensure that they are making wise decisions when choosing their employees. They are also used by landlords and property managers when considering potential tenants, by banks and financial institutions when considering loan applications, and by organizations in the nonprofit and government sectors when choosing volunteers.

Why are background checks so important?

There are several reasons why background checks are important in today's society. These reasons include the following:

1. Preventing fraud

Fraud is a significant concern for many organizations and businesses today. Background checks can help prevent fraud by providing valuable information about an individual's past, including any history of criminal activity or fraudulent behavior. This information can help organizations make informed decisions about who to hire, rent to, or lend money to.

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2. Protecting public safety

Background checks are critical when it comes to protecting public safety. For example, background checks carried out on potential employees in the education and healthcare sectors are critical because they work with vulnerable populations such as children and the elderly. The information gathered during these checks can help to identify any red flags that may indicate a potential danger to these populations.

3. Ensuring regulatory compliance

Many industries are subject to state and federal regulations that require employers and other businesses to carry out background checks on individuals who will be working in certain positions. For example, financial institutions must perform background checks on all of their employees who will be working with money or financial records. These checks help prevent fraud and protect public safety while ensuring that employers comply with relevant regulations.

4. Reducing liability

Employers and organizations can be held liable for the actions of their employees or volunteers. Background checks can help reduce liability by identifying potential problem areas prior to hiring or engaging with an individual. This information can then be used to make informed decisions about whether to allow the individual to work or volunteer for the organization.

How do background checks work?

Background checks vary depending on the industry, the organization, or the type of work being done. However, the general process involves gathering information about the individual's past through various means like interviews, reference checks, and public record searches.

A comprehensive background check may include criminal history checks, motor vehicle record checks, credit history checks, and education and employment verification. The information gathered during these checks can help to provide a complete picture of an individual's past.

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Real-life examples of the importance of background checks

Background checks are essential for preventing fraud and protecting public safety, and many real-life examples illustrate this fact.

1. Elizabeth Holmes and Theranos

Theranos was a blood testing startup founded by Elizabeth Holmes, who claimed that her company could run a blood test with just a few drops of blood. Investors poured in millions of dollars into the company, which was valued at $9 billion in 2014.

However, investigations later revealed that Theranos was a fraud. It became clear that Holmes had lied about the accuracy of the technology and misled investors and consumers. Had background checks been carried out on Holmes and her colleagues, these fraudulent claims would have been uncovered sooner, and the damage would have been mitigated.

2. Uber driver background checks

Ride-hailing company, Uber, faced significant backlash in the early years of its operation due to criminal activities carried out by its drivers. In 2014, a driver for the company was charged with raping a passenger in New Delhi, India. It was discovered that his history included criminal convictions for assault and misleading her.

Uber then implemented more extensive background checks on potential drivers, and the company now performs criminal record checks, driving record checks, and other types of background checks to protect its passengers and reduce the likelihood of similar incidents from happening again.


Background checks are a necessary and critical aspect of our society today. They help prevent fraud, protect public safety, reduce liability, and ensure regulatory compliance. Though they may be seen as an added expense or inconvenience for businesses, it is essential to understand how they help protect people and organizations. As such, it is essential for employers, property managers, and other organizations to take background checks seriously and utilize them in their recruitment and screening processes.

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