The job application process is practically a minefield for many reasons, and registering onto job seeking sites is one of them.
But as applicants are already stressed out by many things, it’s not surprising that keeping all those job hunting accounts secure is one of their least of their concerns.
However, it’s important that these accounts are protected by any means possible, because if they are broken into by hackers then you may end up losing much more than the perfect job opportunity.
How Serious Is the Threat?
Ever since the internet became an inseparable part of our lives there hasn’t been a single year without a major security breach – and, sadly, those breaches have caused major havoc to job seeking sites as well. In fact, it’s safe to say that if a job board is involved where users voluntarily provide all sorts of personal information about themselves, then the damage can be even greater – which is especially true for sites with dubious privacy policies. And there is no better proof for how great that damage can be than the 2012 LinkedIn breach, where data fetched from over 167 million accounts ended up on the black market.
If it’s not already obvious, proper protection is a must, particularly if you are registered to multiple online job boards. However, it only takes a little bit of extra attention and effort to make sure that you can continue your job hunt without disturbance while also keeping your most sensitive personal data out the reach of hackers.
The Ways of Making Your Jobseeker Accounts Unbreakable
Don’t Connect to Social Media
Although many job seeking sites and online resume builders provide the option to log into your account with Facebook or LinkedIn – and to automatically fetch the necessary information with a single click – it’s highly recommended to avoid doing so as it gives hackers the opportunity to gain control over two accounts at the same time.
Thankfully, avoiding the whole fiasco is pretty simple, just use an email to register onto the account.
Never Use the Same Passwords
Users often make the grave mistake of using the same password everywhere, thinking it’s more convenient that way. But even if that password is strong, once it’s cracked the hacker will be able to easily break into all of your accounts before the catastrophe can even be prevented by changing the password wherever you can.
This means that no matter how tempting it is the ‘one password to rule them all’ approach is a definite no-no; instead, come up with a new, strong password for each new account.
Create Strong Passwords
Speaking of strong passwords, this by far one of the best ways to effectively protect online accounts. Admittedly, it’s not easy to come up with something that creates an impenetrable wall for hackers and is simultaneously easy to remember but it’s not impossible either, especially if a password generator is used in the process.
These tools, whether found online or built into a password management program, are capable of generating strong passwords with various criteria, ultimately creating a password that simply cannot be cracked.
Trust Password Managers
By far the best solution possible is to utilize a password manager, a program that takes care of everything related to passwords from storing them in a vault that is protected by military-grade encryption to the ability to generate strong passwords. Additionally, password managers have the so-called autofill and autologin features, which will never fill out login boxes on fake sites that have been created for phishing attempts.
However, there is one thing that needs to be clarified: although the most popular web browsers do have their own, built-in password managers, these are quite vulnerable to attacks from hackers. In simpler words, it’s better to ignore them and instead opt for third party password managers.
Add Two-Factor Authentication
Using strong passwords alongside password management software should be more than enough to ensure the privacy of your online accounts. However, with two-factor authentication – or 2FA for short – an additional layer of security is added to the mix. By activating this feature your accounts become virtually unbreakable due to the requirement of both a password and a passcode generated by a separate app or device.
Thankfully, many websites implement this feature, including LinkedIn, Facebook, and even the federal employment site, USAJOBS. However, it’s worth noting that these sites use two-step verification, where the passcode is sent by SMS. This method is less advanced than 2FA, but it’s still an effective method nonetheless.
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