Keeping your CV safe online

With the recent news that the Guardian jobs website was hacked, the theft of 4.5 million users’ personal details from the monster.co.uk website, and with identity fraud on the increase,  what can you do to safeguard your online CV?

According to the Metropolitan Police, 93% of CVs posted online contain enough information for criminals to steal your identity. This information could then be used to take out credit cards and loans in your name, acess your accounts, seriously affect your credit rating and even gain a passport in your name!

Here are some top tips:

  • Make sure the site you are posting to is genuine as some bogus ones have been set up purely to collect CV data.  Research online the site’s reputation.
  • Be wary of those emails you get out of the blue suggesting you for an interview (particularly in a field that is not your skill set), and that request further personal detail.
  • Check that anyone you respond to with further information has a company domain name in their email address and not a host server address.

On your CV:

DO NOT put the following information online. A prospective employer will be able to assess if you have the correct experience for the job without it.

  • Full address. Leave off your house number and road
  • Your middle name
  • Your marital status
  • Your National Insurance number
  • Your date of birth/ place of birth (the Age Discrimination Act means that you don’t have to include this information)
  • Driving licence number
  • Bank details (obviously!)
  • Make sure you have a separate email address for job hunting. Get one free from sites such as Yahoo or Hotmail
  • Do not put names and addresses of any references. They will not thank you if their ID gets stolen! Simply write “References available on request”

In addition:

  • Do not put similiarly sensitive info on Facebook or other networking sites.
  • Deactivate any online CVs when you are not job hunting or if you do not use that job site any more.
  • Make a notes of all those places that you have applied to with your personal information online, just in case.
  • If you are applying directly to a company or via an email received, then have a look on the Companies House website (www.companieshouse.gov.uk) to check they are legitimate.
  • Ensure that you regularly change your jobs’ website passwords and have up to date anti-virus/security software on your laptop or PC.

How comfortable are you posting your CV online with the recent security breaches? Please leave a comment and let me know.

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One Response to “Keeping your CV safe online”

  1. Richard says:

    In all honestly, I hadn’t given any consideration to information security when posting CVs to online job sites other than a momentary “should i put my address on that? … yeah it’ll be fine” But the article woke me up to the potential dangers, and I’ve now replaced all my online details with “available on request”. I’m also considering removing the company names and schools from employment history just to be safe. Good advice, thank you.

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