Yesterday I conducted a short training session on ‘people searching’ using the Internet. For some of the attendees this was a refresher. During the introductions one of the delegates said something on the lines of “The techniques and tools you showed us before have helped us so much in finding people and companies, it’s changed the way we work!”. Nothing pleases me more than to hear what I train is having a real impact in the workplace. For this particular delegate, and his colleagues, it was about protecting the public purse and chasing debtors, a very important aspect of their business.
Recent events in Panama bring in to sharp focus once again the very real need to conduct a thorough due diligence process before engaging clients. Whilst there is a place for subscription databases, a quick check of a system and an over reliance upon what it returns (or not) is fraught with danger. Gone are the days when it will be acceptable to say to a regulator “Well I checked the system and there was nothing there”. Neither should a search engine be totally relied upon, they are governed by a number of factors and were never built to be the one stop shop for compliance. The Internet, whilst a font of knowledge, is also a dangerous space.
Searching for people and entities online is a skill that needs to be taught and updated regularly. Don’t be misled by thinking that the answer is a crib sheet of useful websites, yes of course they help but having that all important investigative mind-set is what makes a difference. Being able to adopt a defensive digital posture whilst doing those important searches is also vital. Having an understanding of how you can be electronically followed around the Web may lead you to change your online behaviour.
I can offer a range of training options to help you mitigate your business risk. That includes CPD style top up sessions, workplace training, eLearning, Skype or public courses on an wide range of related subjects relevant to the world of compliance. Want to discuss further please feel free to get in touch.
In the meantime, “Let’s be careful out there”.