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Dangerous chinks in job hunters’ cyber security behaviour

Lee Biggins

Despite three quarters of respondents worrying about their personal identity, job hunters are ignoring the government’s cyber security advice, placing themselves at increased risk of cyber-attacks as a result. Contributor Lee Biggins, Founder and Managing Director – CV-Library.

The study, which surveyed 2,000 members of the working population, discovered that just under a fifth (19 percent) of respondents had used the same password to register their CV online as the one they use for their personal email accountBut, with emails being a gateway into personal data, the Government’s Cyber Aware campaign highlights the importance of having a strong and separate password for your email. The oversights come despite identity theft being a matter close to the nations’ hearts:

Furthermore, more than a quarter of respondents (28 percent) are re-using passwords across online accounts, which means that if they have one account’s security compromised, they risk opening up other accounts to hackers. Worryingly, the findings reveal that just over one in five (22 percent) respondents have already been hacked.

When it comes to job hunting specifically, of those surveyed, the majority are including important personal details on their CV which are not necessary, such as their address (79 percent) and date of birth (51 percent). The study also found that 16 percent of respondents will include their place of birth on their CV, while one in 10 (10 percent) will state their National Insurance number.

Lee Biggins, founder and managing director of CV-Library comments on the findings: “Our survey reveals some stark contrasts between those who worry about their personal identity being stolen and those who put themselves at risk by not using strong and separate password for their email account. Many job hunters are leaving themselves open to cyber-attacks, without really knowing it is happening and this is something that needs to be addressed.

“We, like many other job boards, are affiliated with SAFERjobs, a not-for-profit organisation which promotes the importance of conducting a secure job hunt. We pay great attention to vetting all jobs that appear on our site and encourage candidates across the UK to take a proactive approach to staying secure online.”

Interestingly, the survey found that respondents aged 18-24 were the least concerned about cyber security of all respondents: with only 42 percent stating that they were worried about information on their CV being stolen, vs 68 percent of 55-64 year olds.

This is an important area of cyber security because the recruitment process is increasingly conducted online. In fact, CV-Library alone has 4.3 million unique site visits per month, receives 3 million job application per month and 316,000 new and updated CVs every month.

Biggins continues: “Thankfully campaigns like Cyber Aware work hard to combat cyber-crime and help people to conduct a secure job hunt. It offers practical advice on using a strong and separate password for email accounts and encourages Brits to make sure they install the latest software and app updates. By doing so, you could significantly reduce this threat and fully focus on securing a job you will love.”

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