To Screen, Not to Screen
We all have our own way of conducting verification, and that's totally fine! There's even providers who don't screen. That's fine too. Not my place to judge since I didn't know a thing about screening in my civvie days when I was under the radar. Gut instinct & good luck basically helped me back then.
Anyways, let me discuss what, why & how I screen.
The duration of my screening can either take ten minutes or two days.
It was taking two days since I was waiting on several references because I just knew this dude had a fake/revenge blacklisting.
Various Public Databases
Spokeo, Pipl, Truth Finder, White Pages, etc. and any blacklist websites are my main tools. The main things that I use to verify simple info are your name, number & email.
If you complete the employment verification on my form, since you already proved you own your professional email via my form, I just look again to make sure everything adds up.
Review Boards, Client Verification Platforms
No, I didn't care about seeing a client being whitelisted on TER. I cared more about a client's commentary. There were certain things I looked out for in reviews. Clients who literally had nothing but 'NO' reviews and their presence on the board were just some of the few things I looked at.
Client verification systems such as P411 simply help aid with screening. They aren't used as a main source of screening for me, personally.
Provider Reference Screening
If a potential client uses a provider reference, then I have to do a little bit of research on them also to make sure they're reputable. That's all.
I look at their website, if they're on P411, their social media, and I locate some of their ads to analyze. My provider research doesn't go too deep since it goes pretty smoothly than most client screenings.
After verifying them, I contact the provider with the potential client's name, number & email along with a brief introduction of myself, a link to my website & various handles. So far, a provider's input has been helpful when it came to the potential client.
Before I can even begin to screen, clients fill out my forms to either book or prescreen.
I make sure it's encrypted to keep sensitive info more safe. I'm the only one with access to the key to decrypt their info. With encryption, client's info looks all cryptic and weird.
I also have validation widgets for email & phone on my forms.
My email validator is easy. The client has to verify their professional email by actually logging into their professional email, copying the code from the validation email, pasting the code to the form and then clicking confirm! This is to prove ownership.
The validation email is sent from JotForm's servers to make sure my clientele's professional email isn't linked to anything unprofessional! I also check the email upon receiving the submission for legitimacy.
The SMS Confirmation is for verifying the client's phone number to make sure it's not a burner number. I require both a mobile number and a verified email for my Alternative screening. Newbies don't get off easy.
The confirmation text is sent from a number of mine with a Louisiana area code, but nothing provocative linked to it, so it's all good!
Once I receive the submission, I check the number again. I will only save their number in my phone if they prefer to text; however, if they crave to email like I do, then after my final run through, I discard it along with other info upon completing the process. I
The Cloud Act
The CLOUD ACT
I only keep your name & hobby email now for future reference after the passing of yet another harmful bill.
It's blurred for a reason, but notice that 'Phone' is empty! I don't keep numbers anymore!
I keep my contacts stored in a database offshore. Yet, this data isn't safe anymore since the US government now has power to snoop on other country's data where they deem fit. How?
nothing is safe
Another insidious bill which basically makes any data on US soil unsafe.
why no phone number?
Your phone number, in my opinion, is extremely sensitive data that can easily trace so many details about someone. So, for your sake, I delete your number and other info immediately after screening. In the end, I only keep your name & hobby email along with small details to help me for any future reference.
Note: If you prefer to text, please have the Signal app (DUST is even better!). I will keep your number stored ONLY in my phone. After meeting, I will discard it. Feel free to contact me via email in the future for any reason.
General Data Protection Regulation
Notice how many websites are updating their terms & such this month? It's because of the General Data Protection Regulation. Also, notice the new banner on my website regarding cookies? Yes, that is also related to the GDPR, and you also need it if you get visitors from Europe to your website. I get some sometimes, but it's best to safe than sorry.
Instead of sending an autoresponse email to a client after they complete my form, JotForm now makes me ask my client for their permission to receive a confirmation/autoresponse email.
I have had instances where I've seen a client who had a fake blacklisting, and I told him about it in person.
I had another instance where a client accidentally sent me all of his professional work info such as address of their office, etc. I told him about this in person as well.
ugh, i found...
That's just how I operate, personally. If I do find stuff that I think do NOT need to be found, I'll tell the client about in person. Trust me, they both actually appreciated me for it.
I do it to dodge a certain threat since at the end of the day, it's my business. My screening is a secret way of telling them to fuck off and mind their own business. It's all just time well spent. :D