Applying for a job and being hacked in return…

Applying for a job and being hacked in return…

Three-quarters of job hunters fear identity theft when applying for positions online, C.V. Library reports, after consulting more than 2,000 employees in its recent survey.

83% of respondents admitted that they fear hackers could gain access to their personal documents; despite this, a significant portion use the same password that they use for their personal emails when registering their C.V.s online. One if five said they’d already fallen victim to a hacker.

Lee Biggins, founder of C.V. Library, says, “Many job hunters are leaving themselves open to cyber-attacks, without really knowing it’s happening - and this is something that needs to be addressed.”
The company’s findings showed that the younger the candidate (i.e. 18-24yrs), the more likely they were to be nonchalant about their passwords and computer security. Only 42% saw it as something to worry about, yet 68% of 55-64 year-old job seekers cited cyber-security as a real concern.

8 out of 10 jobseekers search for vacancies online – C.V. Library reveals that they alone receive 3 million job applications each month. A good portion of candidates will have their C.V.s saved on numerous job sites, to ensure they don’t miss an opportunity. So, how many of these do you think will choose convenience (i.e. a well-used password they won’t struggle to remember when logging in to the various job sites they’re registered with) over caution (i.e. a strong, unique password for each platform)?

Last month saw a change in data privacy laws, to better protect individuals. You’ll probably recall your inbox being flooded with emails bearing the letters ‘GDPR’. Looking at the statistics above, is it fair to say that the government is more concerned with who has access to our personal information?!
Lee goes on to say, “Thankfully, campaigns like Cyber Aware help people to conduct a secure job hunt. It offers practical advice on using a strong and separate password for email accounts and encourages Brits to make sure they install the latest software and app updates. By doing so, you can significantly reduce threats and fully focus on securing a job.”

It’s interesting, isn’t it: the generation that has grown up with technology and the internet is less concerned about the risk of hacking than older job-seekers who are perhaps less familiar with online applications and the process of uploading their C.V.s. It’s logical, but it’s not as if hackers will stop to check someone’s age before they target them. In fact, the risk of hacking may be lower amongst more mature candidates, as their concern and mistrust of the world wide web would likely see them adhere to best practice when using different passwords online. On the flipside, according to MORI, older users of the internet are less likely to install necessary updates to anti-virus software, believing doing so will ‘muck up’ their device.

Our tips will help you stay safe online whilst searching for your perfect position:

Bona fide sites: When applying for a position online, make sure it’s a secure site before you share anything. Look at the URL of the site and check it against a Google search of the company’s name – is it the same address?

Secure access to the internet: Make sure your wi-fi connection is secure. It may be tempting to apply for that job on your phone whilst enjoying a latte in Starbucks, but their wi-fi could be wide open to hackers.

Passwords: We’ve stressed how important it is that you use a different one for every site. This is little use if your password can be easily guessed, however (such as your children’s names, house number, etc.). Aim to use complex passwords, such as a random mix of letters and numbers, or three unrelated words. Record all these unique passwords via a reputable password manager and make sure to change them regularly.

Two-tier login: Enable a two-tier identification process to access your information. After entering your password, you will be asked to key in a unique code sent to your registered phone.
Remember to log out: Once you’ve uploaded your C.V., or finished building your profile, make sure you sign out of the site.

Anti-virus: It’s important; make sure you have decent anti-virus protection across your devices.
Update: As we’ve already mentioned, update your devices’ software whenever prompted.
Back up: Make it a habit to back-up your information regularly.

Social media savvy: The clue is in the name – it’s social media, i.e. platforms teeming with people, some of whom may be interested in accessing your details. Don’t post anything personal on social media sites when chasing your next career move.

Of course, businesses are no safer. Your website can be just as much at risk from hacking as the innocent people logging on to it. Our recruitment websites come with a raft of advanced security features as well as full GDPR compliance to protect our clients and their users from cyber threats and to uphold user’s rights. To learn more about how our product can help your business succeed online, get in touch today!

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