When you are looking for work, you want to make yourself known to a lot of people.
But sometimes you don’t want to be quite so well known. How can you protect your privacy in our online world?
There’s plenty of controversy around how employers use our social media data–and metadata. The reality is that there are some things you can’t control, but it is possible to take some steps to protect your privacy.
Be selective with the information you put in your resume – Many of us put our home address on a resume. If you feel that is still necessary, you can get a P.O. Box for the duration of your job search and use that as your address? Avoid sharing this information on your resume, or in email correspondence with a new potential employer:
- Date of Birth
- Social Security Number
- Driver’s License Number
- Bank Account Number
- Credit Card Information
- PayPal Account Number
- Mother’s Maiden Name
- Spouse’s Name
Create a separate email address – Set up an email account specifically for your job search as it will help protect your identity and make you more organized while you’re searching. There is an option in Gmail to set up forwarding so you can have emails delivered to your primary account to make sure you don’t miss any crucial ones.
Use a unique password – When you sign up for a job search website make sure to create a unique and strong password so that if there is any security issues only that password will be compromised. I try to evangelize this any chance I get, but many of us do not pay attention and reuse passwords because it’s easier to remember.
Google Yourself – Periodically do a Google search for your name since that is what most recruiting managers will do. See which results come up and if there is a result that you don’t find flattering, then follow the advice in this article on how to alter the search results in your favor.
Search by Image on Google –The next level of Google searching is for you to check if the a certain photo of you is available anywhere else. When you go do a Google image search there is an icon of a camera where after clicking on it you can choose to upload your profile picture, or any other picture, and Google will show you other places that picture has shown up.
Use these tips to protect your identity and privacy online. Taking these extra steps will make it harder for anyone wanting to steal your identity or to find out information about you online. If you have suggestions that have worked for you, let me know in the comments below.