Social Media Background Checks to Strengthen Homeland Security

Various organizations have started to in include social media background check as one of the processes in hiring. And the government of the United States is starting to enforce this method as an effort to minimize the possibility of terrorists sneaking into the country. Reportedly, the new policy will have their targeted visa applicants submitting their social media information to the State Department officials.

Although this new method is being enforced, only a small number of travelers are affected: 65,000 out of 13,000,000 yearly visa applicants to be exact. Therefore, questions had raised and most people question: is this an effective solution?

There is some information that the selected visa applicants have to provide such as social media accounts, phone numbers and email addresses which have been used in the past 5 years. In addition, information including travel history, travel fund’s source, employment records and passport numbers from the past 15 years are also listed in the questionnaire.

Average citizens should not worry about anything as this extra step of security will be focusing and enforcing on the travelers who are suspicious and identified as “high risk” by the State Department officials.

Consular offices across the globe will be carrying out the necessity, as applicable. Technically, the visa applicants are eligible to reserve their digital information. However, it will jeopardize the application process for the travelers, as their requests might be postponed or rejected, as advised by the State Department.

Furthermore, some people are concern about submitting their social media passwords, and to put this discussion to rest, the government doesn’t need the selected applicants to submit any of their social media passwords. This is rational action because making the applicants to share their social media passwords as compulsory, another problem comes up – cybersecurity.

Before we go any further, we need to understand that, just like most countries, the United States is entitled to request for information from incoming visitors as one of the conditions to enter the country. Therefore, the utmost important question that the policymaker should answer is: Will this clause be able to promote America’s security effectively?

Although this new method is going to provide valuable data to the State intelligence agencies, the government must contemplate between the program’s cost and benefits. It is creative and smart to in look into social media, it provides much more information, so much so that it might weaken the official’s ability to figure out the real threats.

Originally, the Department of Homeland Security was trying to put this vetting program on auto-pilot, but the result was not as accurate as predicted, making this “not a practical option”. Alternatively, intelligence analysts are needed to involve in manual checking, which is more time-consuming. Average, it takes the analyst to go through the questions and data on one new applicant, according to the findings from the Office of Management and Budget.

And with more than 10 million visa applications filed annually, it is almost impossible to utilize social media checking broadly. Luckily, this new setting is only targeting those “high risk” travelers, as reported. However, with 65,000 hours of work for the vetting and intelligence analysts, the government is urged to provide sufficient resources in order to proceed new tasks without putting other operations at risk.

The government should also look for alternatives in eliminating potential terrorism. Instead of spending hours to analyze the applicant’s background, is may be more effective to spend the manpower and resources in capturing and stopping potential risk that is growing in the homeland?

This new vetting process is useful in its own way, and the United States’ government should continue to improve the system. Politicians who are in power must ensure that all new measures are effective, in order to make the country a safer place to live.

7 Ways to Find People You Used to Know Online

Are you looking for a friend who went to the same school with you? Trying to trace the relatives that you haven’t seen in years? Regardless the reason you are looking for anyone, the Internet is here to help. We should be grateful to live in the digital era, everything is easier than ever. We can shop, connect to anyone and find anyone online.

Back in the day, there no way to trace and reconnect to them person who went missing or you have lost contact with, you can either wait them to show up or put out flyers and advertisement on newspaper. But today, the digital platform is not only helping us to complete the challenging task but also in a much simpler way. All you need to know is where to look.

There is tremendous growth in number of users in social media networks, Facebook, as the number 1 largest social media, is a good way to look for someone. However, don’t forget we have many other sites with big databases which will come in handy in finding someone as well. Let’s go through the steps below

Information Gathering

In this first step, you must gather as much information about the person as possible, and collect their photos as well. Remember, the more accurate the better. In the perfect scenario, you should at least know their full name and some rough ideas of where they lived and where they might have gone to. If you have no idea where to start, try the school year book or ask other friends who might knew them back then. If it’s your long-lost relative, you might want to check the photo albums and ask other relatives. You should be able to find out more information.

Google Search

Google almost knows everything on earth, why not start here? With tons of information publish on Google on daily basis, maybe your friend is featured in one of those. News, interviews, columns are things you can look into.

If your friend has a unique name, you might stand a higher chance in tracing by looking him or her with their real full name. Otherwise, the level of difficulty will be increased if you only have either their first name or last name, or they have very average name like John. Then, you might have to put in more effort in thinking more related keywords in Google search box. Look into the list of information you have, the name of their parents, spouse, children, work, company they worked with or even their hobbies or things they like such as gardening, singing or comics. As you have listed down the keywords, try different sets of combinations as well.

With the photos you have in hand, try Google’s reverse image search, too. This method shows you the result of look-alike pictures on all digital platforms, which might help you to take one step closer in reaching your goal.

Social Media Help

This is where social media come into the picture. With more than 5 billion monthly active users, Facebook is definitely the best place to start looking. However, as Facebook has tightened up their algorithm and allowed users to set their profile private, not all results will show upon request. That being said, Facebook is still the best choice as most users are using their real names to set up the profile.

Just log on to Facebook, and simply type in the person’s name in the search bar. Usually there are tons of results showing if the name is common. As you look through the list, try to pay attention to the profile picture displayed. If the profile picture is not a headshot, you may have to click into it and look through the person’s pictures to determine whether or not that’s the person you are looking. Also, if you see any pictures that look familiar, pay more attention by look through their profile, they might be the one who you are searching for.

Aside from the above, results showed other details like mutual friends, education or workplace as well as location. Just sort by “People” and you will see the results.

If all of steps above is not working out, it is time for you to ask your friends on Facebook. Go through your friend list and look for any person who might know the individual you are searching, they might have contacted or still connecting with him / her. Sending personal message with the information and pictures you have, to help them remember better. It is okay if they don’t know or can’t recall because they will most likely to help you spread the words and someone you have never thought of might response with useful information.

Alternatively, if your friend was active in any activities, sports, reading, dancing, try and search for the related clubs on Facebook because they might be one of the members or followers. Like the page of the club and try to publish a public message to the members and hopefully there is someone who can offer information.

While Twitter is not as popular as Facebook but it has high number of users as well and worth and shot. Just sign up for an account, if you don’t have one, start looking with the person’s full name. The results will be lining up for your examination.

Link On LinkedIn

LinkedIn is the professional version of Facebook which most working professionals are connecting to one and another. You will have the advantage if you knew where was that person working in as LinkedIn offers more accurate information on this area compare to Facebook. Nevertheless, just like any other social media, this method will only work if your friend is an existing member of LinkedIn.

And just like Facebook, you must sign up in order to gain access to LinkedIn and look at the complete user’s database. As you sign in to LinkedIn, click on “Advanced” search and fill in the information you have about the person, as detail as possible. Once you have shortlisted the few possible ones, just like Facebook, connect to them and once they have accepted the request, you can look through their profile and send messages to them.

Electoral Roll

Most countries filed a list of registered voters for election. In America, the lists are generally keeping by the state’s government. This maybe one of the ways for you to search for your friend. Just visit websites such as or and check it out. Again, you must at least obtain some basic information of that person including full name and birth date, as the most essential ones. But bear in mind, you have only 10 free of charge searches a day, use it wisely. And if you see results that like most likely to match, you will have to pay to obtain their address and phone number.

Go To General Register Office

The government General Register Office has the record of their citizens. From birth to death certificates, marriage to adoption proof, the office keeps the record. This is especially helpful if the person you knew is married, had babies, adopted child or the least you hoped for, dead.

Speak To Charities

Although most charitable organizations only help in family-related searches, some of them are actually assisting this area. Amongst them are Salvation Army, Missing People, ASR, Reunite, Red Cross and even the police.  Otherwise, you can try to locate your friends by our site, or

Here are the ways to help you in searching your long-lost friends and relatives.  We are wishing you the best of luck to be united with the people you are looking for.

9 Bizarre Things You’ll Find By Searching Your Date Online

Thanks to the Almighty Internet, now you get to know someone before even you meet or talk to him/her. You get to learn about their likes and dislikes, their friends and family, their work and even their pets. After all, a blind date is not so blind in this digital era. In today’s world, a mobile number can get show you its owner’s name and address, and by Googling someone’s name, you’d be amazed just how much information you can get about one particular person.

There’s pros and cons in this situation, though. You will be starting to lose the mysterious feelings about a person, enticed to explore and wanting to know more. With the Internet available 24/7, you are always ready to hit the buttons and there’s information that you need. And we have gathered the people who speak from their experience. Internet-stalking has helped them to make conscious decision whether they should make or break a relationship. Let’s find out how interesting their journey was!

The Girl Who Hates Books

If you love books more than anything in the world, you definitely want to find someone who love book as well. Harley Biala used the tricks of internet-stalking and realized her up and come date hates book so much. To him, it is like the end of the world, until the extend that he had to call off the date and never spoken a single word to her ever since. Was he overreacting? Probably. But hey, since this is the only thing matters, it only makes sense when the requirement is not fulfilled and become the deal breaker.

The Man Who Uses Your Photo To Scam

We know this is the digital era. We know the mobile phone is no longer use for calls anymore. And we know some people just can’t help but taking selfie, wefie or whatever fie you call it. Kiara Imani had this weird experience with her date. She agreed to go out on a date with a guy she met on social media, her type of a guy. They had a great time together. Of course, a wefie is an order. Few days later, she decided to sort of check him out, digitally. Surprisingly, the guy she went out with used the photo they took together as his online dating profile picture! She confronted him later but guess what, he denied. Up until now, she is still confusing, he was using to photo to actually capture male or female audience? Only God… and the guy will know.

The Guy Who Lives On Mars

What if you are dating someone you really like and then when you decided to go a step further, you went on and Google him but all you found was a big fat zero? It is like you are dating an alien and his details are nowhere to be found. Although it seems a little creepy but ideally, you may imagine that you are dating a spy, James Bond kind of spy but then again, even if he is working for the CIA, he should have his artificial identity and background crafted, isn’t it? Becca Martin had this weird experience has never went on to a second date with that gentleman. However, she is still in consideration of whether she should see him again. Well, perhaps she really got herself a secret agent. Don’t be so cynical.

The Man Who Married And Has Criminal Record

Sometimes a little research before the date help, either not to put the hopes too high or decline the possibility all at once. Marisa Donnelly had one of the craziest dating experience of all time. She went out with a fine man who claimed to be 33 years old, single, hardworking and looking fabulous. 2 great dates later, she finally decided to take this relationship to the next level and wish to have a clearer understanding towards the man she was seeing. It turned out that the perfect gentleman is already in his late-forties with a legally-bonded wife. As a huge surprise, he has a criminal record! The relationship has been cut short without a goodbye. After all, how can you start a relationship which is primarily building on lies?

The Man Who Can’t Leave The Lobsters Alone

Paul Florez-Taylor dated the lobster guy. The first date was not intended at all, it was set up by his friends. So, he was supposed to go out with a decent-looking guy who is eloquent, charming with a little sense of humor. On the other side, he is an out-going person who loves almost all the outdoor activities. Furthermore, he is a lawyer. All of the above was comments came from the friends. Then, he decided to check him out on the cyber space. Everything was perfect, just like what they friends have been bragging about. However, as Paul went through his photos, he couldn’t help but realize this guys is insanely in love with lobster and dresses like one in most of his pictures. Halloween is a must, Lobster Fest in Maine, children’s party and even some of the insignificant occasions. Finally, the day come and they went out together. Paul hoped to lighten up the atmosphere during dinner by asking him if he would like to share a lobster. Much to Paul’s surprise, the guy’s eyes were wide open and claimed that he is allergic to lobster.

The Man Who Was Fast & Furious

An initial Tinder meet up got Kendra Sydra interested. With some precaution in mind and make sure the prince charming is not a serial killer in disguised, she went on investigate the man on Google. As usual, information overload! She found out the guy has driving under influence (DUI) and that his license is no longer valid. The investigation started with simply Googling, there’s his Facebook, LinkedIn with incomplete information, some photos, everything seemed normal. However, the real piece of information showed in page two. In the US, the traffic records are usually made public, therefore it caught Kendra’s eyes when she googled that guy with his full name and the city they were living in. the best part was, the guy didn’t know what happened and stated to make plans, and insisted to pick her up on the date. Of course, having so much information storing in her mind, the date never came.

The Girl Who Was A Professional Dominatrix

Not all people end up living happily ever after but some made friends even though they are not meant to be a couple. Decades ago, when Friendster and MySpace were still the in things, Angel Rodriguez met this beautiful woman through a friend. Then student, Angel, who was internet-savvy, tried to look her up digitally and there’s one big surprise awaited him. He found out that the lady was actually a professional dominatrix who provided services with charges. Angel was in awe because they got to know each other through a friend who works as a professional. Although he was amazed by the fact that the woman was leading a double life but he went out with her anyway. As a human being, we never stop learning, according to Angel. They have eventually become close friends, no whips, no candles required.

The Girl Who Was A Reality Star

There is not secret on the Internet. If you are a nobody, there’s something about you. And if you are somebody, there are always information about you. Rohil Aniruth met a pretty girl online who agreed to go on a date with him. With super high number of followers, he smells something fishy and went on to google her. It’s amazing that Rohil is about to went out with a reality star from Nigeria! She was on the way to conquer show biz in New York. Although she was a sweet girl but the date didn’t go far.

The Man Who Lives For Garfield

Google leads you to various social media platforms, Facebook, LinkedIn, and even YouTube. Robert W. Kingett tried to look his date up on Google with his email address and his YouTube channel came out on top of the list. He was super excited about his newly done bedroom which is filled with Garfield, not the amazing Spiderman Andrew Garfield but the orange stuffed doll. In the video, it is showed that this 40 years old’s room is almost fully covered by the cats, the walls, the floor and the ceiling. Odie did make a cameo by resting peacefully on a bright mahogany cupboard, along with an iPhone charger. Robert was overwhelmed with the Odie styled with a pirate-looking eye patch and a cap. At last, Robert decided to take this accountant to an Italian restaurant for a good time. They remain friends but he took own the video without realizing that he could’ve just make it private.

Internet gave us the connection, Google helped us to solve mysterious cases. It is amazing how useful they are when it comes to dating. The once assignment-oriented vehicle has evolved and we are now able to even research on our potential half. Use the tools wisely and it will save a lot of your time but at the end of the day, no one really knows what’s going on behind closed curtain. As the idiom says: don’t judge a book by its cover. You have to actually see the book in order to judge it.