5 Tips to Protect Your Data Privacy While Job Hunting

Stuart Gentle Publisher at Onrec

5 Tips to Protect Your Data Privacy While Job Hunting

  • 27 May 2022
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    5 Privacy Protection Tips for Job Hunters

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  • When you’re looking for a job, you’ll need to share personal information with hiring managers and job websites. While some of these exchanges might take place over email, sometimes you’ll be required to upload your resume to a third-party website and/or file sharing program. This is where job hunting can become a security risk.

    Data leaks aren’t always intentional. All it takes is a misconfigured database and your resume could be exposed. That’s exactly what happened to 250,000 job seekers who uploaded their resumes to two popular recruiting websites.

    If you want to protect your privacy while you search for a job, the following tips will help.

    1. Upload your resume to Box

    Are you in the habit of emailing your resume as a PDF attachment? Email is traditional, but it’s not secure. Once you email your resume with your name, address, and phone number, what happens to your data is completely out of your control. Not all businesses prioritize cybersecurity and you can’t guarantee what will happen to your private information once you hit that “send” button.

    Instead of emailing your resume directly to a hiring manager, get a Box account and store your resume inside your account. When needed, generate a link that expires after a short period of time and email the link instead of the file. This way, if an unauthorized party accesses the link to your resume in the future, the link won’t work anymore.

    In addition to generating expiring links, Box encrypts all the files you upload to your account, so you don’t have to worry even if your data gets hacked. For example, encrypting files with a CCM is critical for preventing data breaches because when encrypted data is stolen, it can’t be read.

    2. Don’t include your references on your resume

    Including references on your resume is asking for trouble. People looking to steal your identity will have access to people you know, and they can even pose as a potential employer to fish for information about you.

    If you’ve always included references on your resume, there’s some good news. It’s actually not proper to include references unless a job listing specifically asks for references. This means you can safely remove your references section entirely.

    3. Ask for an alternative option to deliver your resume

    Are you applying for a job that requires you to use an unsecure file sharing application to send your resume to the company? Perhaps you’re being asked to upload your resume to a particular job listing website first? If you feel uncomfortable sending your resume through a third-party application, it won’t hurt to ask for an alternative option.

    Do your research first to find out if there have been any data breaches or security issues with the service you’re being asked to use. Then, prepare a brief email to request an alternative delivery method. Include the specifics of any security issues you’ve found in your email addressing your concern.

    It’s possible that the company will reject your request. However, if a company doesn’t pay any mind to cybersecurity when collecting resumes, you may want to think twice about working for that company in the first place.

    4. Use a P.O. Box for your address

    While job hunting, you’ll be asked for your address several times, and you’ll need to include it on your resume as well. Getting a P.O. box just for correspondence is the best thing you can do to protect your privacy. Not only will this prevent people from tracking you down, but it will also avert package theft schemes where people hack UPS accounts to change the delivery address at the last minute.

    5. Delete your resume files when no longer needed

    Whether you emailed a link to your resume from your Box account or your website, delete your files when they’re no longer needed. For example, if you don’t get the job, you get hired, or you’ve moved on, delete your files to make them inaccessible.

    If you need to search for a job again later on, upload a fresh copy of your resume and generate an entirely new link to share.

    Recruiters should ultimately provide more protection

    The ultimate solution to data privacy as a job seeker is a complete transformation regarding how the entire process works. Ideally, companies would prioritize data security with highly secure systems and/or accept resume links from secure file sharing platforms like Box.

    In the absence of a standardized, secure process, follow the tips outlined in this article to protect your personal data as best as possible.