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5 Tips for a Safe Online Job Search

5 Tips for a Safe Online Job Search

Teena Rose | CAREEREALISM

Avoid responding to requests for personal information, such as a social security or credit card number.

Let’s say you receive an e-mail from what appears to be a well-known job bank. The e-mail states your account needs your contact and payment information to be updated in order for service renewal. You click on the link and you’re taken to a page that looks, feels, and “smells” right. You then proceed by submitting the requested information. The link appeared safe, but you were taken to a site designed to defraud you.

When using a paid resume submission service, or any other service for that matter, ensure the private information you provide is encrypted upon hitting submit.

Encryption, in short, ensures the private information you submit online is kept safe. When at your browser, you can recognize an encrypted form when the root URL starts with “https:” instead of “http:” or you see the padlock present in the bottom right corner of your screen. Purchasing from companies having added security measures in place can ensure your private information avoids the hands of ill-willed people. Learn more about encryption by reading Jeff Tyson’s article titled, “How Encryption Works,” at www.howstuffworks.com.

Read and understand the privacy policy of sites you patron.

The Better Business Bureau possesses a strict policy for members who do business online. A privacy statement for example must be displayed on member’s website, no exceptions. High business practices are a necessity for maintaining the trust of online buyers; and the BBB understands the critical importance of trust among consumers.

A privacy statement outlines what type of customer information is collected and how it’s used. Information transferred or sold could be basic, like name and e-mail address, or far more in-depth like name, address, social security number, and phone number. No matter how basic or detailed the information, the company must have the logistics spelled out in their privacy policy, so you can make the decision whether to patron the site in the first place.

Tell — because so few others do!

Reports show a staggering 80% of online fraud goes unreported. If the proper authorities aren’t aware of the magnitude of fraud that actually exists on the Internet, then getting the much-needed funds to battle the problem will take more time.

The Internet Fraud Complaint Center has an online complaint feature for individuals to report phishing attacks. The IFCC report process requires basic information, including information on the perpetrator and type of fraud.

For phishing schemes, forward the fraudulent e-mail to the legitimate company in addition to filing a formal complaint with IFCC. Phishing is smearing the good names of countless companies, and notifying the company about the scam can also help the fight. Bringing affected companies on board early will provide a multi-prong approach to this epidemic.

The lesson job seekers should learn is to avoid giving your information out freely. Whether you’re at the end of a phishing attack or the job application requires more information than you’re willing to provide, proceed with caution. Much like you’ll analyze job opportunities; intensely examine each person who receives your personal information. With safe online practices, you’ll get the best return from your job-search efforts — instead of spending hours filing a police report and calling credit bureaus and credit card companies.

Teena Rose is a 11-year executive resume writer and job search strategist. She’s also the founder of Resume to Referral, a professional resume writing service.

This article was originally published on CAREERREALISM.com.

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