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Staying Secure and Protecting your Identity when Job Hunting

Updated: Sep 27, 2021

The impacts of the pandemic on the jobs market have been well-documented. Alongside, the decline in available jobs, however, there has been an impact that has not been so well publicised – the rise in fake job adverts.

According to government statistics, a staggering 74% of jobseekers during the pandemic applied to at least one fake job posting online. As a response to this very real threat to the personal information of many, the Department for Social Security (DSS) have been running a campaign to raise awareness of fake job postings.

The Why’s and How’s of Fake Job Adverts

Put simply, people put up fake job postings because they want your personal information. Once they have this information, they will either sell it on or use it to commit ID Theft. Although job sites have measures in place to detect and remove fake postings from their platforms, some invariably slip through the net.

There are, however, several things you can do to help you detect a fake job posting:

1.) Check the Company

The first thing you should do if you see an advert for a job you might be interested in is look up the company. Do they have a website? Do they have social media channels? Is there location clearly stated on the job advert?

If you cannot find any mention or information about the company from an internet search, then alarm bells should very much be ringing.

2.) Check for the Unusual

If you receive an email asking for personal details, and you notice it is littered of spelling mistakes, from a strange-looking address, and contains suspicious-looking links, then you would almost certainly dismiss it as a scam.

The same rules apply for job postings. If you see spelling mistakes, a salary being offered that is far above any similar role on the platform, or suspicious contact details, then it is most likely a scam.

3.) Is it Too Good to be True?

All decent hiring processes have an interview phase. If you apply for a role and immediately receive a job offer with a link to fill in your personal details, then this should raise red flags.

Knowing Who To Trust

When providing personal information in the job market, whether it be filling out an application form or completing pre-employment compliance checks, there are ways you can tell you are providing your information to a company that knows exactly what to do with it.

At the bottom of this page, you will see logos for ISO Certification and Cyber Essentials. ISO Certification can be accredited for many different things, but ISO 27001 is key when looking for who to trust with your ID, as it shows that the firm meets standards for managing information security.

Cyber Essentials certification is provided by the National Cyber Security Centre and backed by the government. This symbol shows that the platform or company you are passing your ID information to is protected against a cyber attack, and that your information is as safe as it can be.

The key point here is to be vigilant when job searching online. Only provide information to companies who you feel you can trust after a bit of research, look for the Cyber Essentials and ISO Certification, and, if you are in any doubt over whether to submit personal information, DON’T DO IT.

Photo by Philipp Katzenberger on Unsplash



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