In this article, David Brock, Managing Director of LetUsFixIT, shares his top tips for keeping your details secure when applying for jobs online.
In many ways, there’s never been a better time to look for a job, with websites such as Indeed and Reed making it easy to find and apply to opportunities in your area. However, posting your CV online or emailing it to a stranger unfortunately doesn’t come without its risks.
With this in mind, here’s what you can do to protect yourself from scammers and fraudsters.
Create a job search email address
The first step in protecting your identity during your job search is setting up a specific email address for the task. This will not only keep your primary email address free of spam, but also ensure the accounts linked to your main address aren’t compromised if the address you’re using to apply to jobs is hacked. While it’s unlikely your email address is going to be hacked through a job site, you’ll be extremely grateful for this extra layer of protection if it is.
Be careful what you share
A common tactic used by fraudsters involves posting bogus job ads on a legitimate website with the aim of gathering unsuspecting applicants’ sensitive information. To avoid being stung by one of these scams, don’t include your date of birth, address, or mobile phone number anywhere on your CV or within your job application. The only contact information that you should make available in your application is the email address you’ve created specifically for job applications.
If an employer contacts you asking for sensitive information such as your national insurance number or financial details, this should immediately set alarm bells ringing. Forward the email to the job website you found the opportunity on and warn them that it needs removing.
Choose your recruitment website wisely (and set your privacy settings when you have)
A new recruitment website seems to pop up every day, and when you’re on the lookout for a job, you might be tempted to sign up to them all to ensure you don’t miss out on any opportunities. However, not all job sites are created equal, and you should vet each one carefully before you sign up and upload your CV to its database.
Before you create an account with any job website, search Google for any reviews or feedback you can find online. If the site seems suspicious, stay well clear of creating an account on it.
Once you’ve got set up on a few recruitment websites that you trust, be sure to review your accounts’ privacy settings. The best sites will allow you to either display your CV publicly, keep parts of it hidden, or leave the whole thing private until your application to an opportunity is underway. To ensure your security, enable these privacy features. If a job site you’ve signed up to doesn’t allow you to make your CV private, you might want to terminate your account and stick to the sites that do allow this.
So, there you have it: everything you need to know to protect your privacy while looking for your next job online. Follow these tips and you’re sure to stay as safe as possible during your job search.