If you’re like most job seekers you tend to do most of your job searching on the Internet. During your search, you will probably register on job search and other networking sites. To compound the issue, an increasing number of employers are using emails as a tool for communication with potential applicants rather than the telephone. In fact, in many instances, e-mail is the only form of communication you may have with a potential employer until the day of the interview.
Given the reliability on technology, it has become even more important to keep you and your information safe while online. You also need to protect your computer from an expensive virus. Here are some strategies to keeping yourself safe during an online job search:
Do not respond to unsolicited sales pitches (this also includes opting out of an unsolicited mailing list). Responding to these emails will confirm your email address is indeed owned by a “live person.” Once you verify the email address, you may find yourself the target of a large amount of unsolicited, unimportant email.
Do not click on links within unsolicited e-mails. They can download spyware or a virus to your computer. This becomes increasingly difficult as more employers are contacting potential candidates via e-mail. They may sometimes require you to click on a link to read additional information. This is always a tough judgment call to make. One option is to contact the company to verify they have, in fact, sent you an e-mail. If you explain why, most will absolutely understand your hesitancy. If they don’t, ask yourself, if this is a company you would want to work for.
Never give out your password. Recently there was a huge issue with employers asking for passwords so they can check out the Facebook page of a potential hire. The question is, why do they need your password? They can simply find your page and friend you if they need information. Never give them access to your account. While it’s comforting to want to believe every hiring manager is above board, you still don’t know them. If you wouldn’t give a password to a spouse or significant other, why would you give it to a complete stranger?
Computers are expensive. Spam can over-flow your email, blocking or obscuring the important email you need to receive. Taking an ounce of prevention can save your invest and keep you safe during your job search.