How To Find the Background on a Person for Free

By David Sarokin

There are times when it's just good sense to learn more about a person's background. Perhaps you've been asked on a date with someone you don't know very well, are thinking about hiring a new staff person or bringing on a new business partner, or are looking for a nanny to watch your children. Whatever the reason, there are tools on the Internet that can help you conduct a free background check.

Step 1

Search the name at This free online people-search service makes a comprehensive search of the Internet, looking into regular search sources as well as scouring the "deep Web"--content that regular search engines don't include. Search results at Pipl are well-organized and are often surprisingly detailed.

Step 2

Look for criminal history. Use the search tool at to look up the person's name and find any online information about their criminal record. does not have every criminal record from every jurisdiction, but it is the most comprehensive free resource available for criminal background searches.

Step 3

Check the National Sex Offenders Registry. This is another important criminal background check that you can search online at no charge.

Step 4

Check newspapers. Search for the person's name at Google News Archive. People show up in newspapers for all sorts of reasons, both good and bad. News stories cover high school sports, marriage announcements and business openings as well as arrests, scandals and failures. Use the "advanced search" features at Google News Archives to restrict your search to particular places and dates.