Online Job Searching – How to Keep Safe

March 5, 2015 in Advice & Tips, Uncategorized

It may not be something you’ve considered before, but those looking for work online are a goldmine for fraudsters and identity thieves. Think about it: a hopeful and maybe desperate job hunter might not think much of sending a “recruiter” personal information… and falling prey to a “phishing” scam.

Online job search platforms are changing the way people look for work, but make sure you’re keeping safe. Here’s how to spot dodgy situations and steer clear of people looking to take advantage.


Submit sensitive information on encrypted sites only

The easy way to tell if a site is encrypted is to look at the address bar: URLs that begin with https: instead of http: are encrypted, and it’s safe to submit a CV that may contain personal information.


Be on the look out for request for information

The old adage is still true: if it seems too good to be true, it probably is. A common trick is to “phish” for information. You’ll receive an email that looks as though it comes from a respectable job search site, and you’ll be asked to visit another site and enter your information there. Be very careful. Legitimate recruiters almost never contact applicants this way, and be especially suspicious if you never even applied in the first place.

[bctt tweet=”if it seems too good to be true, it probably is”]

Read the privacy policy

You may be so keen to get those CVs out there that you throw caution to the wind, but it pays to read up on the relevant website’s privacy policy. You need to understand the basics of how your information will be collected and possibly sold by the site in question – be wary if there’s no privacy policy on the site, since this is usually a legal requirement. You may end up volunteering information like your telephone number and then being spammed for months afterwards.

 [bctt tweet=”be wary if there’s no privacy policy on the site”]

Avoid being scammed

A common technique is to send thousands of emails to people, claiming to be interested in you after seeing your CV online. What usually follows is some sort of automated application form, a separate link to follow or a prompt to sign up somewhere. Unless you applied yourself to these recruiters, or unless they can give you very specific details on where they saw your information, you’re probably being targeted for all the wrong reasons. Never follow a link in an email, no matter how legitimate it seems. Before responding, quickly research the company and the people involved.

Searching for a job online today is for the most part an exceptionally effective and fast way to get your information into the right hands – and get hired. The problem is you don’t want that information being abused, so keep your ears pricked for odd-sounding propositions, cold-emails and requests for information, and you’ll stay safe online.