Could your CV be exposing you to hackers?

A survey of over 2000 workers revealed that over half of Brits worry about personal information on their CV being stolen, yet many job seekers make simple mistakes that could make them vulnerable to hackers.

Unnecessary information

The research, carried out by the UK’s leading independent jobs board CV Library, found that the majority of job seekers include unnecessary personal information on their CVs, including:

  • Full name – 90.3%
  • Postal address – 78.5%
  • Date of birth – 50.5%
  • Contact details for referees – 35.8%
  • Place of birth – 16.3%
  • NI number – 10.3%

“Be wary”

Lee Biggins, founder and MD of CV Library, had the following advice for what to include and omit on your CV:

Your skills, experience and what makes you relevant for the job should be the main focus of your CV. Personal details like your date or place of birth and your national insurance number are completely unnecessary and we’d strongly advise that you don’t give this type of information out.

Of course, it’s not unusual to include your full name or postal address, especially as your location can improve your CV’s chances of being found on a job board, but it’s important to be wary about the type of information you’re giving out and who it’s going to.”

Safeguarding your personal email

The survey found that 83.4% of respondents were aware that a hacker could access their personal details if they were to access their emails. Despite this, one in five said they had used the same password to register their CV online as they used for their personal email account.

CV Library’s research also showed that a high proportion of people have fallen victim to hackers – 22.2% of professionals questioned said that they have been hacked, rising to 30.6% for those based in Wales, 29.3% in East Anglia, 27% in the South West and 26.7%in Northern Ireland.

Biggins continued:

“Not only is your email account a gateway to a vast amount of information, hackers could also use your email account to access many of your other personal accounts.

Therefore, it’s important to follow the government’s advice on using a strong and separate password for email accounts, as well as installing the latest software and app updates.

With campaigns like Cyber Aware working hard to combat cyber crime and help people to conduct a secure job search, we hope that job hunters across the UK can focus on producing a winning CV and secure the right role for them.”

5 tips to stay more secure online

Cyber Aware has the following tips to protect yourself from hackers and keeping your personal information secure:

  • Use a strong and separate password for your email
  • Always download the latest software and app updates
  • Activate 2-step authentication on your email
  • Use password managers to store passwords for your less important accounts
  • Avoid clicking on suspicious links

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This article was originally published on 6th May 2019 and updated on 17th January 2022.