Over the last decade the Internet has become the “go to” place to apply for jobs. Security risks have dramatically increased over the years as hackers become more sophisticated, and malware and viruses seem to penetrate even the safest of environments.
Job applications require information that can put your identity at risk if it falls into the wrong hands. So what are some precautions you can take to project yourself?
1.         Be sure to use reputable job boards. Click here to read more:  evaluate boards 
2.         Investigate who owns the job site. You can Google the site’s name and identify who has access to the information you will be submitting.
3.         Check the privacy policy details on the site. If you don’t see a privacy policy listed, this should send up a red flag or at least put doubt in your mind how your information may be handled. 
4.         Never provide: Social Security number, date of birth, gender or race when you apply for a position online. Also don’t include credit card info, bank account numbers, or your mother’s maiden name. Reputable companies will not ask for these details online. However, if they do, you can reply that you will provide that information offline, or during the interview or hiring process.
5.         Fill out applications only on secure Internet sites. Look for “https” or a small lock icon in the browser that indicates the URL is secure.
6.         Create a strong password when developing an online profile. If you are on a potential employer’s website and filling out an application, you may be asked to set up a profile. Avoid using a password that you already use for personal or other resources. Make your password unique to that particular company.
7.         Set up an email account for online job search. Some experts suggest setting up an email specifically for job search. It may help cut down on spam, and if you receive spam or get hacked, you can shut this email down and it won’t affect your personal or other professional email accounts.
It is a fact of life today that employers are conducting credit and background checks before hiring you, and sometimes even before setting up an interview. And, of course, once you are offered the job, your Social Security number will be needed to for payroll and tax purposes. So, chances are you will be asked for confidential information at some point in the job search process. It is important to be cautious during job search to protect your identity.