FAQs About Criminal Record Checks


A bad hire is a liability. It is a waste of resources and a threat to the organization. According to the US Department of Labor in 2003, a bad hire costs the company about 30% of the employee’s salary in the first year. Losing thousands of dollars because of a single employee is no laughing matter. The figures are overwhelming, and no business wants to suffer because of a bad hire.

Although bad hires are not 100% preventable, you can significantly lower the risk of hiring the wrong candidate through criminal record checks. By conducting this check as part of your recruitment process, you can identify the applicants with a criminal history, and move on to interview those who passed the check.

A criminal record check is the process of obtaining information on a person’s criminal history which includes warrants, convictions, and arrests. This is most commonly used by human resource managers for recruitment.

HireRight estimates that in 2017, 85% of hiring managers spot false declarations on applicant resumes. What are the odds that one applicant or two has a criminal record? Criminals are now so elusive, and those with a past troubled record can be very evasive even when they have been off the hook.

You need to know why a criminal record check is so important today, and why you should do it as part of a comprehensive selection process. Here are frequently asked questions about criminal record checks:

“Are criminal record checks and person background checks the same?”

Both checks contain information on an individual’s criminal history or absence thereof.

However, criminal record checks are more comprehensive because they focus exclusively on criminal history. If you need an overview of an applicant’s overall background such as educational qualifications, past employment, credit history, and criminal records—a regular background check will do. If your concern is on the criminal history alone, a criminal record check will provide you with the information you need to look into the individual’s previous or current offenses.

“What is the significance of criminal record checks?”

Complacency is the silent killer of business.

You may think that no person with a criminal record will ever have the guts to apply for a job, but don’t be surprised if a criminal record check on one of your applicants generates a hit for workplace theft.

Through criminal record checks, you avoid employees with convictions like violence, theft, fraud, embezzlement and substance abuse. The goal is to determine any past or present criminal record that threatens your organization and employees. You need to prevent potential losses due to worker theft, and avoid lawsuits for negligent hiring and workplace violence. A safe workplace is the best workplace.

Conducting criminal record checks also speaks a lot about your company as far as recruitment is concerned. Do you do a routine check during the selection process? Do you repeat the check when offering a promotion to a current employee? Do you conduct a check every few years or so? Hiring and maintaining employees with zero criminal history mirrors the quality of employees, increases your company’s success, promotes your brand and magnifies your revenues.

“What are the limitations of criminal record checks?”

One disadvantage of criminal record checks is that some states do not disclose all information pertaining to criminal records. California, for example, only displays the convictions and not the arrests of the individual concerned. The extent of information disclosure depends on the policies of a certain country or state.

This is why it’s recommended to employ third-party experts in criminal record checks. If your company’s legal department is unable to obtain criminal record checks, trained investigators can do so on your behalf. Not only are they knowledgeable about where to get information, but they are trained to obtain records legally. They also have access to other resources that are otherwise not available to the public.

“What can you expect from criminal record checks?”

A criminal record check is an effective tool used by investigators and security experts to make sure that you practice reasonable care and due diligence in your selection process. Criminal record checks are so thorough, that you are able to get hold of information that a regular background check may not reveal.

A typical criminal background check starts with the person’s personal details, such as the complete name, aliases, physical description (height, weight, skin color, eye color) and distinct characteristics (moles, tattoos, scars). Results reveal all these details including outstanding warrants, convictions, arrests, and prison terms.

Investigators obtain records from courts, police and law enforcement agencies. They can also get information from international agencies such as that from INTERPOL to verify international warrants.

Once you have the information at hand, then you have the confidence to make an informed decision about the applicant’s chances of getting hired.

“Do I need to conduct criminal record checks?”

Small and medium enterprises need to protect their businesses as they can be an easy target for criminals to apply, believing that criminal record checks are too costly for small business owners. Although many countries allow their own people to conduct criminal record checks on themselves, these records do not often display the details of the offense committed, if any.

For large corporations, criminal record checks should not be neglected. A bigger company entails a bigger brand to protect, and an even bigger name to carry. It only takes one bad hire to tarnish the organization’s reputation and risk the safety of all employees.

If you run a business dealing with children or seniors, or operate a trade in health care, pharmaceuticals and financing, a criminal record check is an absolute necessity.
A simple criminal or police clearance from your local government is not enough. Rather, a comprehensive investigation by a trained security provider is essential. A thorough check will provide you with information not found in state databases, such as that from academic institutions, previous employers, professional and civic organizations, and other establishments for any record of misdemeanors.

Results of criminal record checks can be analyzed with findings of pre-employment screenings, person background checks, online dating background checks, and nanny background checks to gain a deeper insight on potential employees and their relationships with other people.

The cost of criminal record checks vary, starting from roughly $100 and may increase depending on factors such as the location where records are obtained, cost of records, the extent of the check, and difficulty of the investigation.

By now, you may be contemplating how much it will cost you to perform routine criminal record checks. The cost is quite steep, especially if you are still starting—but it’s a small price to pay. What do you get in exchange for the accuracy and reliability of criminal record checks? You get the best hires for your organization.

Seuss Recruitment appoints Privatimus as exclusive pre-employment screening partner


Partnership gives Seuss Recruitment BV access to Privatimus’ global expertise in pre-employment screening for staffing solutions in the Life Sciences industry.

HAMBURG (September 2018) – Seuss Recruitment BV, a recruitment partner providing recruitment solutions to the Life Sciences industry has appointed Privatimus GmbH, a German security consultancy specializing in strategic security concepts as their partner in applicant pre-employment screening. This partnership provides Seuss Recruitment access to Privatimus’ global expertise in comprehensive applicant background checks and verification, to assure highly qualified candidates for their clients in the Life Sciences industry.

“Pre-employment screening is already a standard procedure for hiring new employees in the USA and many other countries, with rapidly growing interest in Europe,” said Sven Leidel, Partner at Privatimus. “In-depth applicant checks confirming what is stated on a CV, such as duration of employment, job title, description and responsibilities, education credentials, and professional certificates are essential in reducing risks for employers during the hiring process. Statistically speaking, approximately two-thirds of all applications show inconsistencies, at various degrees of severity.”

With a vast candidate network uniquely spanning both Europe and North America, Seuss Recruitment has crafted the art of modern match making in providing recruitment solutions to the Life Sciences industry, including pharmaceuticals, biotech, medical device, and nutrition industries.

“Few employers will dig beneath the surface to confirm validity of information provided by the candidate, such as their expertise and qualifications,” said Sabine Hutchison, CEO of Seuss Recruitment. “Some cite ethical concerns and time, while many others are unsure where to begin or where digging is allowed.

“This gets especially complicated in an international hiring situation. Which law applies, for example, if the employer is located in Germany, the position is in the Netherlands and the candidate is originally from Russia with work experience also in the US and UK? Now we’re getting into some murky legal waters, which is why an experienced professional company like Privatimus is critical for us to work with.”

Areas of expertise offered by Privatimus in pre-employment screening include verification of certificates and references, comparison of the CV with accompanying documents, Open Source Intelligence, integrity tests and more. “Our proven approach to candidate reviews gives Seuss Recruitment’s clients assurance in protecting their business interests,” added Leidel. “Confidence in an applicant’s presentation on a CV is a starting point, but confirmation of the information is critical in hiring truly qualified employees.”

“Using a comprehensive background screening program with expert services from Privatimus will increase the quality of new hires, and thus our client’s confidence in hiring their next new employee,” concluded Hutchison. “Talent acquisition can be a struggle for many businesses, and qualifying candidates with accurate information is a great portion of that struggle. New hires are costly, and we believe that much more time should be invested at the beginning of the process, to assure the most synergistic match between candidates and our clients at a global scale.”

About Seuss Recruitment BV

At Seuss Recruitment, we have crafted the art of modern match making as a recruitment partner providing recruitment solutions to the Life Sciences industry, including pharmaceuticals, biotech, medical device, and nutrition industries.

We find the most synergistic fit between professionals and forward-thinking companies, with a vast candidate network uniquely spanning both Europe and North America. Via our diverse recruitment services, we create tailored solutions for different levels and phases of recruitment.

Visit Seuss Recruitment BV: www.pharma-recruitment.com

About Privatimus GmbH

We are a company with integrity and extensive expertise. Since 1993, our experts have been concentrating on servicing an exclusive clientele. With our worldwide network of experts, we support our customers nationally and internationally. In this way, we ensure that the best possible support is provided across national and cultural borders and that the business interests as well as the highly personal private interests of our customers are protected.

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Seuss Recruitment wählt die Privatimus als exklusiven Pre-Employment Screening Partner.


Die Partnerschaft gibt Seuss Recruitment Zugang zu Privatimus’ globaler Expertise und Netzwerk im Bereich des professionellen Pre-Employment Screenings, für deren Kunden aus der Life Sciences Industrie.

HAMBURG (September 2018) – Seuss Recruitment BV, ein Personalvermittlungsunter-nehmen spezialisiert auf die Life-Sciences-Branche, hat die Privatimus GmbH, eine auf strategische Sicherheitskonzepte spezialisierte deutsche Sicherheitsberatung, zu ihrem exklusiven Partner im Bereich der Bewerberüberprüfungen ernannt. Diese Partnerschaft bietet Seuss Recruitment Zugang zu Privatimus’ globaler Expertise in der umfassenden und zielgerichteten Überprüfung und Verifizierung von Angaben von Bewerbern aus der Life Sciences Industrie.

“Das Pre-Employment Screening ist bereits ein Standardverfahren im Einstellungsprozess neuer Mitarbeiter in den USA und vielen anderen Ländern; mit einem wachsenden Interesse und einer zunehmenden Bedeutung auch in Europa”, sagt Sven Leidel, Partner bei Privatimus. “Detaillierte Bewerberprüfungen, die bestätigen, was in einem Lebenslauf angegeben ist, wie z.B. Dauer der Beschäftigung, Berufsbezeichnung, Beschreibung der Tätigkeiten und Verantwortlichkeiten, Ausbildungsnachweise und berufliche Zeugnisse, sind unerlässlich, um die Risiken für Arbeitgeber während des Einstellungsprozesses zu verringern. Statistisch gesehen zeigen etwa zwei Drittel aller Bewerbungen Unregelmäßigkeiten in den unterschiedlichsten Ausführen und Schweregraden auf.”

Mit einem umfassenden Kandidaten – Netzwerk, das sowohl in Europa als auch in Nordamerika einzigartig ist, hat Seuss Recruitment die Kunst der modernen Abstimmung geschaffen, indem es Rekrutierungslösungen für die Life-Science-Industrie anbietet, u.a. in den Bereichen Pharmazeutika, Biotechnologie, Medizinprodukte und Ernährungsindustrie.

“Nur wenige Arbeitgeber werden selbst tiefgründig recherchieren, um den Wahrheitsgehalt der vom Kandidaten bereitgestellten Informationen zu bestätigen, wie z.B. deren Expertise und Qualifikation”, sagte Sabine Hutchison, CEO von Seuss Recruitment. “Einige argumentieren mit ethischen Bedenken und mangelnder Zeit, während andere unsicher sind, wo sie anfangen sollen oder was überhaupt erlaubt ist. Das kann in einem internationalen Bewerbungsumfeld durchaus auch etwas kompliziert werden. Welches Recht gilt, wenn der Arbeitgeber seinen Sitz in Deutschland hat, die Position in den Niederlanden zu besetzen ist und der Kandidat ursprünglich aus Russland kommt sowie über Berufserfahrung auch aus den USA und Großbritannien verfügt? So kann man schnell in ein trübes juristisches Umfeld geraten, weshalb ein erfahrenes professionelles Unternehmen wie Privatimus für uns von entscheidender Bedeutung ist.”

Zu den Kompetenzbereichen, die Privatimus im Pre-Employment Screening anbietet, gehören die Überprüfung von Zertifikaten und Referenzen, der Abgleich des Lebenslaufs mit Begleitdokumenten, Open Source Recherchen, Negativmerkmale und Vieles mehr. “Unser bewährter Ansatz bei der Überprüfung von Bewerbern gibt den Kunden von Seuss Recruitment die Sicherheit, ihre Geschäftsinteressen zu schützen”, fügte Leidel hinzu. “Das Grundvertrauen in die Richtigkeit der Angaben eines Bewerbers in einem Lebenslauf ist ein lobenswerter Ausgangspunkt, aber die Bestätigung der getätigten Informationen ist entscheidend für die Einstellung von wirklich qualifizierten Mitarbeitern.”

“Die Verwendung eines umfassenden Hintergrund-Screening-Programms mit Expertendienstleistungen von Privatimus wird die Qualität der Neueinstellungen und damit das Vertrauen unserer Kunden in die Einstellung zukünftiger neuer Mitarbeiter erhöhen”, schloss Hutchison. “Die Gewinnung von Talenten kann für viele Unternehmen eine echte Herausforderung darstellen, ebenso die Verifizierung der Qualifikationen der Bewerber. Neue Mitarbeiter sind teuer, und wir glauben, dass zu Beginn des Einstellungsprozesses mehr Zeit investiert werden sollte, um die Übereinstimmung zwischen Kandidatenangaben und Kundenanforderungen auf globaler Ebene zu gewährleisten.”

Über Seuss Recruitment BV

Bei Seuss Recruitment haben wir als erfahrener Partner, der Rekrutierungslösungen für die Life-Sciences-Industrie (einschließlich der Pharma-, Biotech-, Medizinprodukte- und Ernährungsindustrie) anbietet, die Kunst des modernen Match Making entwickelt. Wir finden die beste Synergie zwischen Fachleuten und zukunftsorientierten Unternehmen, mit einem umfassenden Kandidaten-Netzwerk, das einzigartig in Europa und Nordamerika ist. Mit unseren vielfältigen Personaldienstleistungen schaffen wir maßgeschneiderte Lösungen für verschiedene Arbeitsebenen und Phasen der Personalbeschaffung.

Besuchen Sie Seuss Recruitment BV: www.pharma-recruitment.com

Über Privatimus GmbH

Mit unserem weltweiten Expertennetzwerk betreuen wir unsere Kunden national und international. Wir stellen somit sicher, dass über Landes- und Kulturgrenzen hinweg eine bestmögliche Betreuung gegeben ist und die persönlichen und individuellen Interessen unserer Kunden bestmöglich geschützt sind.

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FAMILY OFFICE ELITE Interview with Sven Leidel: Privatimus Safe Room Solution


An affordable and prefabricated solution created for new buildings and also for a retrofit installation in existing rooms in houses and apartments.

FAMILY OFFICE ELITE spoke with Sven Leidel, an expert for HNWI/UHNWI Risk Mitigation & Protection Strategies located in Hamburg, Germany.

Mr. Leidel, although this is already your second interview with our magazine, please tell us again about your professional security background and introduce yourself to our readers!

I was born in 1968 in Hamburg, Germany and I am a German citizen. As a former member of the German military police, I have been dealing with the topic of protection and security since 1988. Today I am involved, as an honorary member, in various national and international security and professional associations in advisory and executive functions. I am a professional lecturer and trainer, facilitator and specialist author, security consultant and expert in the field of protection strategies for exposed individuals. I have gained extensive expertise from more than 25 years of industry and professional experience and I have operated in numerous foreign assignments and projects in Europe, North America, Latin America as well as parts of Asia. My longtime customers include many major national and international corporations and insurance companies as well as small and medium-sized enterprises, exposed private individuals, family offices and family foundations as well as entrepreneurial families and high net worth individuals. Last but not least, I am an author and editor of two books in respect of Travel Risk Management; see www.travel-security-handbook.com (English) and www.handbuch-reisesicherheit.de (German).

Your company provides Risk Mitigation & Protection Concepts for HNWI´s / UHNWI´s. Why do you call your “physical shelter concept” a SAFE ROOM and not a PANIC ROOM.

We have chosen SAFE ROOM for three reasons: (1) We feel, that SAFE ROOM meets the purpose and security aspect much better, plus the word “panic” sounds too negative in our point of view, (2) our exclusive technology and construction partner “Turtle Saferooms” is using the wording SAFE ROOM also in the company name and (3) the naming PANIC ROOM is often associated with the same name movie.

That´s right, when I hear PANIC ROOM I am thinking automatically about Jodie Foster in the Hollywood movie “Panic Room”.

Most people do! At the end you can use both conceptualities; there is no right or wrong. We have decided, we do not want to sell a “Hollywood Horror Experience or Feeling” to our clientele, that´s why we use SAFE ROOM. What you see in the movie “Panic Room” is more of a bunker with thick steel, massive concrete walls and a high end technical solution (i.e. self-sufficient air conditioning, oxygen and power supply). Most of the time, the reality with private clientele and their SAFE ROOM solutions looks quite differently.

What makes your concept so different?

We offer a proven “room-in-room retrofit installation solution” as well as a professional architectural solution for new buildings. With the know-how and experience of our technology partner, we are able to plan a SAFE ROOM already in the construction phase or use existing rooms in the house or apartment also as a SAFE ROOM. For example, you can rebuild and use an existing dressing room, that is close to the master bed room, as a SAFE ROOM. Optically the purpose of the room stays the same: A simple dressing room with all of your cloths. But if necessary, you can close the door(s) of the dressing room and it protects you against intruders, kidnappers, criminals a.s.o.. The beauty is, you can still use the dressing room in your day-to-day-routine for the purpose the room was originally planned and built. This concept gives us the opportunity to be efficient and costs effective, but it still meets the need for an individual and customized security and protection level; in our point of view the best possible price-performance-ratio.

Your solution is not a bunker that protects against the next bomb or terror attack, right?

By far not … our standard SAFE ROOMS are not designed to withstand and resist a bomb attack or a siege for many hours or days by trained and heavily armed terrorists. In order to be also on the safe side in respect of those threats, clients then must invest hundreds of thousands of EURO/GBP/US$. Anyway, upon request we can also assist with those demands; it is all a question of money and availability. Generally speaking, it is our understanding, unless you are in a witness protection program or you have received massive threats from mafia or organized crime groups as well as from political, religious or otherwise motivated radical groups, you do not need a massive bunker or high end solution. The vast majority of our exclusive clientele is looking more for a lean solution with a good price-performance-ratio. Having this said, our SAFE ROOM solutions start at a little under EURO 10,000 for the very minimum version and solution.

What is your solution protecting from?

Our SAFE ROOMS are protecting from violent intruders and criminals, as well as from kidnappers, stalkers or violent ex-life partners. The purpose of a SAFE ROOM is, to provide a safe retreat and to protect the home owners from physical harm until the police, law enforcement or the contracted security company has arrived. If you can trust the statistics, this means that a SAFE ROOM needs to withstand and resists the penetration effort and attempt from criminals for app. 15 – 20 minutes. In the meantime, help should have been arrived at your house in most cases.

Who is a typical SAFE ROOM client?

If you are talking about the age of our clients, this goes by all ages. It could be the retired wealthy couple, which does not feel comfortable anymore to use physical defenses in case of an intrusion by violent criminals. It could also be the HNWI family, where the husband has to travel a lot for business and the rest of the family members are alone at home a lot. In addition, it can also be the successful mid age business couple, which wants to add another level of security while they are at home. So bottom line, you see that there is no typical clientele by age. It is more a question of the willingness to reach the next security level (on top of an existing CCTV and alarm system) or even the ability of the financial investment in the next security level.

Does your SAFE ROOM concept also protect against bullets from handguns, rifles and automatic weapons?

Our standard solutions protect against 9mm, Magnum .44 and up to Kalashnikov 7.62. Nevertheless, if a client needs an extra level of protection, we can also secure the SAFE ROOM against higher and stronger calibers. Again, it is just a question of money and availability. To be honest, it is our experience that the resistance class 7.62 is sufficient in most cases. There is really no need to spend more money on higher resistance classes, if there is no real known threat need. At the end, the client will get what he or she is asking for.

Are there any technical limitations or requirements from your end?

Not really, beside the fact that our collaboration partner Turtle Saferooms needs a minimum of two bearing walls in order to build in the room-in-room-solution. Other than that there are no real technical limitations or requirements from our end.

Some interested persons might think: “We do not want all the conversion and construction dirt in the house (for several days)!”. How do you respond to this statement?

I totally understand, that most clients would like to avoid any disorders, inconveniences and impairments at their homes for days, like you experience when you i.e. convert your bathroom. In our case the whole process is very simple, fast and “pretty clean”. After assessing the threat and risk level and deciding which resistance class is reasonable for the SAFE ROOM, our technical experts will measure the room and create a 3D model with a special software program on the computer. All necessary materials and walls will be manufactured at the production site in Bremen. When all preliminary work is done, the technical experts will schedule a date with the client in order to build in the individual and prefabricated parts. Therefore, the team will arrive in the morning, build in all parts and leave already in the evening.

Don´t you hope that the “Day X” will never come, where the clients have to use the SAFE ROOM?

Of course I do! But even if the client never has to use the SAFE ROOM, it is my experience that having a SAFE ROOM in the house creates kind of a peace of mind for the client and the whole family.

Mr. Leidel, thank you very much for your time and the interview.

FAMILY OFFICE ELITE Interview with Sven Leidel; an expert for HNWI/UHNWI Risk Mitigation & Protection Strategies


OSRINT – Open Source Risk Intelligence

Do you know, what kind of private information are available in public sources about you and your family members, which could be of a risk and used by criminals?

FAMILY OFFICE ELITE spoke with Sven Leidel, an expert for HNWI/UHNWI Risk Mitigation & Protection Strategies located in Hamburg, Germany.

Mr. Leidel, please tell us about your professional security background and introduce yourself to our readers!

I was born in 1968 in Hamburg, Germany and I am a German citizen. As a former member of the German military police, I have been dealing with the topic of protection and security since 1988. Today I am involved, as an honorary member, in various national and international security and professional associations in advisory and executive functions. I am a professional lecturer and trainer, facilitator and specialist author, security consultant and expert in the field of protection strategies for exposed individuals. I have gained extensive expertise from more than 25 years of industry and professional experience and I have operated in numerous foreign assignments and projects in Europe, North America, Latin America as well as parts of Asia. My longtime customers include many major national and international corporations and insurance companies as well as small and medium-sized enterprises, exposed private individuals, family offices and family foundations as well as entrepreneurial families and high net worth individuals. Last but not least, I am an author and editor of two books in respect of Travel Risk Management; see www.travel-security-handbook.com (English) and www.handbuch-reisesicherheit.de (German).

What is OSRINT?

OSRINT stands for Open Source Risk Intelligence. It is probably the most innovative way of identifying risks and critical content in respect of a specific target (person or company) in public sources. In order to be efficient in the most possible way, the internet search is done and supported by a 24/7 operating crawler technology. This advanced monitoring technology helps to identify and track personal data online in open sources, that might also be useful for criminals. In addition, experienced risk analysts work as ‘human filters’ to identify threats and sensitive details in public sources on a 24/7 basis. Another part of OSRINT is the removal of critical data from the internet and other online sources, or if a removal is not possible, the displace of such content. Especially in today’s world where media and online outlets can ruin a reputation in a matter of minutes, it is important to always be one step ahead and have the latest monitoring technology in place.

Please tell us about a typical client case!

A family office is reaching out to us, asking for a confidential face-to-face meeting with one of their exclusive FO clients. The client asks us to find out, what kind of private and critical details are available in public sources about himself and his family members. All we get from him is his first and his family name; nothing else. Now it is our job to try to find out as much as possible about the target; pretty much the same way criminals would start in order to identify possible victims.

In one specific case, the HNWI did mention that he has already maintained a “low profile” for many years and he was sure that we should not be able find any pictures from him, no names and no pictures of his family members and maybe just a handful of companies that he is involved in. He did not even tell us how many children he has, nor any details in respect of his residence home and vacation real estates he might own. We agreed on 5 days of actual intense open source search from our end. Pretty quickly after starting the research, we found many critical details and put all the findings in a 45 pages’ written report. We ended up finding 27 pictures from himself, names and pictures of all his children and his wife, private addresses (residential and vacation), as well as 43 companies he and his relatives are currently involved in or he and his relatives were involved in in the past. You can imagine that the surprise was huge, when we presented the findings in a personal meeting. During the meeting we did receive the up order to conduct security audits at the residential and vacation houses in order to optimize the physical and electronical security measures and to assist in deleting critical details and information from public sources (internet). Since then, we are also monitoring the internet 24/7 with the latest crawler technology in order to make sure, that we identify critical details and content in the internet around the clock and automatically. This gives us the opportunity to react quickly and in a timely manner as soon as we (the crawler) have identified new critical content. Just recently we found out that his children did establish almost a handful new companies without consulting with their parents in the first place. Within the company registration process, the children made a mistake and used one of the family’s private address, which is absolutely not acceptable, because this is a weak point within the whole personal risk mitigation concept and strategy.

Can you really delete all data from the internet?

Of course not! Some data and content can be deleted from the internet or from specific homepages and probably the majority cannot.

For example, a solution could be … in connection with a reputation management strategy, those data and content that is in the internet and cannot be deleted, you can try to displace this content on the internet by a so called “positive story telling technique”. This means that you create positive and non-critical content for a specific target (person or company) and strategically place it in the internet on existing homepages / platforms or you create your own new blogs and webpages. On those platforms where you have total control over the content, you can pretty much publish all kind of true or false/fake details that you want or that you need for your protection strategy. That way you create “helpful content” in order to be positively rated by Google, Bing & Co. Having this said, this means that your own non-critical content will show up within the search results on the first couple of pages at the search engines. Unwanted content and details will be pushed back on the pages 5, 6 or even further back. It is our experience that most criminals just take a look at the findings on the pages 1 – 4.

In addition, you can track the traffic on your own blogs and webpages; we call this “The Honey Pot Concept”. Which gives you a good first idea, who is looking for your client, what kind of keywords are used for the search, what is the main interest, where is the person located, a.s.o..

What is a Honey Pot Concept?

Honey Pots are mainly used by IT security professionals in order to find out if hackers are interested in a certain IT landscape, where are they coming from, what kind of search and keywords are used, what kind of technology is used by the third party a.s.o..

Our Honey Pots are kind of modern traps. Like I already mentioned, we create blogs and homepages with a “specific real-fake content”, so people that are searching for a specific target (person or company) will get the search results within the search engine they use. As soon as they click on the search result, we are able to track their homepage visit and also their clicks and activities on the Honey Pot blog and homepage. We are able to see the country and city they are coming from, which online network they are using, how long they stay on the homepage, which additional content they have looked at and much more useful details. This is a risk indicator for us, that somebody is interested on specific information about a target. The information of interest could be the private address of the target, private activities / hobbies of the target and other critical details. In addition, you can spread false and fake details about a target, in order to blur the online traces and to make it more difficult for criminals to find real details and information in open sources. This is a very useful and effective protection concept.

Why is it so important to know what kind of Details are available in the Internet?

It is our experience that criminals also look first in the internet and try to find out as much as possible useful details about possible targets and victims. The more useful details they find and the easier it is to get access to those details, the more likely it is, that criminals will pick a so called “soft target” for their criminal activities (kidnapping, burglary, blackmailing, threatening …).

The goal of a comprehensive personal risk management is to become a “hard target”, in order to be unattractive and not of interest for criminals.

You can compare this with the following:

You do not have to install a tons of physical and technical security at your house, like they use at “Fort Knox”. Your house just needs to be more secured than the neighbor’s house. Criminals are looking for quick and easy wins, with hardly no risks of failure.

FOE: Thank you very much for the interview.