How to Protect Your Identity When Searching for a Job

If you are looking for a job, you might be surprised to learn that some of your activities might put you at risk for identity theft. Since many applications are submitted online and platforms like social media and email are used to communicate and share information, your personal information is routing through a wide variety of systems. Should a cybercriminal intercept your details, they might be able to use them to commit fraud or steal your identity.

Luckily, there are things you can do to protect yourself during your job search. Here’s how to get started.

4 Ways To Protect Your Identity

1. Don’t List Your Full Address on Your Resume

It’s common for many job seekers to list their full home address on their resume. However, this actually isn’t necessary and could make it easier for someone to steal your identity.

Instead of including your complete address, consider an alternative. You could use a post office box instead, list only your city and state, or leave it off entirely.

2. Be Cautious with Your Social Security Number

While employers do need to verify your Social Security Number if they intend to hire you, they typically don’t need it for the initial parts of the recruitment process. If a company is requesting yours and you are suspicious about their intentions, let them know that you are happy to provide it once you are deeper in the hiring process (when those verifications would be appropriate).

A reputable employer would usually understand your concerns and be flexible in that matter. However, if the person who replies is pushy, that should be a red flag of a possible scam.

3. Make the Most of Privacy Settings

Privacy settings on job sites and social media can prevent people you don’t know from accessing details you don’t want to be shared. On job sites, look for options that can hide certain kinds of information, such as your address, phone number, or similar items.

For social media, consider adjusting the settings on your personal accounts to prevent anyone who isn’t connected with you from seeing details like location and contact information. Additionally, don’t share links to your personal pages when applying for jobs as, not only is it unnecessary, it can also be risky.

4. Watch Out for Scam Listings

During your job search, you might spot the occasional vacancy announcement that seems too good to be true. Maybe it offers a ridiculous salary in comparison to the average. It might say that you can make thousands working from home, but doesn’t really explain how it works.

Regardless of the reason, if something doesn’t seem right, it could be a scammer trying to get access to your personal information. If you have any doubts about a position’s validity, it’s always best to move on and focus on opportunities that seem legitimate.

Looking for a job?

By following the tips above, you can protect your identity during your job search. If you’d like to find out more, the staff at TRC Staffing Services can help. Contact us with your questions today and see how our job search expertise can benefit you.

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