Online job hunting has become so popular lately, joining trends from other aspects of our lives. Quite a few employers choose to spread the word about job openings via online professional networks. But at the same time, cybercriminals sharpen their skills in stealing personal, contact or financial details by posing as legitimate job advertisers and using applicants’ details to commit fraud.
Unfortunately, there are times when unsuspecting victims actively seeking a job completely forget about some simple rules regarding their online safety, and tend to disclose to fraudsters enough data that can turn them into victims of identity theft in an instant.
Online job hunting is highly convenient, but…
Searching for jobs online saves time but exposes you to various online threats, including malware infections, identity theft and identity fraud when revealing your personal details out there on the internet. We’ve all heard of the now famous work from home scams
or money laundering via money mules
. Sometimes, bogus employers send out malware-infected email attachments that once downloaded to your computer can put your internet security at risk by spreading severe infections meant to damage systems or to steal sensitive information and banking credentials. But perhaps the most dangerous “offers” come from bogus employers that try to fool applicants into revealing a considerable amount of sensitive data that is usually not requested in a legitimate hiring process; examples of such data are: national security number, passport or driving licence number, credit card or banking details. Once having your personal details, fraudsters can open bank accounts in your name, steal your money or perform other illegal actions. Very often, fake job ads are removed as soon as cybercriminals collect enough data for further use. The worst part is that most of the time victims do not even know with whom they’ve shared their personal details and hope they will start working right away. Bear in mind that whenever you receive unsolicited emails claiming you have been appointed to a job you have never applied for, you need to think twice and carefully analyse (using a trusted search engine or by other means) all company details before taking any action, as such messages usually hide phishing attempts.
Tips for safe online job hunting:
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- protect your online data by configuring strong passwords for your accounts
- be careful with whom you share your personal details and do not leave a door open to cybercriminals stalking you
- do not reveal sensitive information with a potential employer long before your contract details have been agreed upon
- do not respond to unsolicited emails that claim you have been appointed to a position, especially if you haven’t applied for any job posting lately
- never pay money in advance to a so-called organization to hire you or to obtain training materials
- never include date of birth, social insurance number or financial information in your résumé
- stay away from fake job ads, easy money contracts or work from home scams
- be extremely cautious with offers that seem too good to be true
- keep software on your computer up to date
- use a comprehensive internet security suite to protect you while online. Get BullGuard Premium Protection to protect from identity theft, financial fraud, phishing and more.