Personal privacy is hardly a new concept, and yes, it applies to situations far beyond homes, bathrooms and the like. The comfort of knowing you and your information are safe and secure is a regular part of human nature. However, escaping Big Brother seems near-impossible in this increasingly digital age.
Posting photos on Facebook? Algorithms have learned what you and your friends look like. Answering the phone? Apple needs your fingerprints. Need a ride from the airport? Uber saw your flight land 20 minutes ago.
It’s an increasingly significant problem that has not only sparked lawsuits, ethics questions and political action, but it presents an annoying concern for personal safety if someone can learn your address and where you ate lunch through your cell phone.
What more could possibly be exposed to internet weirdos? Well, a lot. Searching for a job means sending out your entire professional and educational history alongside contact information, addresses, even details about former employers and references.
If you’re looking to enter a new career, not an episode of Black Mirror, here are some tips to keep your personal information safe:
Set some limits
Especially where social networking sites are concerned, most online platforms will take every last detail of your life if you let them. Provide the bare necessities (phone number, email, name) then decide whether other information is critical to the platform. Does Facebook need your phone number? No. Will recruiters seek out a location on your LinkedIn profile? Definitely. Taking a trip to the privacy settings will also give you control over who sees your activity.
Limiting the information you put online not only protects you, it narrows down the best way for people to reach out to you. If their only options are a phone number or an email, there’s less for you to keep track of.
Build a safe resume
Resumes not only typically contain your name, email and phone number, but more often than not, your entire home address. It’s ok to provide this information to companies you’re making direct contact with, but leave it off of your resume when hosting it on a website or public board. These areas are open to thousands of people who may not always be legitimate.
Trust your gut
Live by the ancients proverbs of “trust your gut” and “if it smells rotten, throw it out.” If a job listing sounds too good to be true but they need more information than others have requested, toss them to the side. No company will request social security numbers, credit card info or anything similar. If it feels wrong, it’s because it is.
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