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June 21, 2010

Digital Job Search Privacy and Threats

Protecting your digital job search journey makes sense for many reasons. For example, if you are employed and you would like to keep a low profile then your tactics should be carefully planned. If you are unemployed don't be tempted to reveal too much. 

One of my clients who is getting ready to pick up his new "smart phone" said this to me: "I lost my last phone at a conference. Someone actually accessed my accounts with basically one touch. That freaked me out. You could tell everything about me, have one touch access to my retirement funds, my bank, my pictures and my online trading account. Not cool." No, he didn't lose anything and the finder said they were "just trying to find out who to call" and stopped.

Another client said that his phone, left on his desk at work overnight was never accessed but by one touch could have been. "All you had to do," he said to me, "would be to click on my email account and read one or two emails from me to potential employers." 

So what do you do to try to eliminate some of the privacy risks you face during the search? How can you reduce the nightmare of identity theft and more? 

Let's focus on what you can do and a few don'ts:

– Don't openly post your resume on job boards

– Don't include your home address on your Linked In profile, resumes or job board accounts

– Don't include your home phone on any documents unless it is your cell phone

– Don't provide your Social Security Number on job applications unless you absolutely have verified the source or can ensure that the company is legitimate

With the advent of search on sites like Craig's List, these identity issues continue to pose challenges. Some of the challenges stem from not knowing who will receive your resume or that it is being sent to a blind email. 

Remember that any public profile on sites like Naymz, Linked In, Facebook and other biographically focused sites should carry the same kind of care. 

Some sites like The Ladders, Monster, Career Builder, Dice and others have privacy and security features but they are not foolproof. Limiting your biographical information may negatively impact your ability to access certain employers. But limiting your risk where you can makes sense. 

It's also smart to not lose or leave your smart phone in the wrong place.

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