It’s that time of year when many people, especially students, are searching for a summer job. While you’re looking, bear in mind that identity thieves are looking for a paycheck too – they want your identity.
When you fill out applications, you’re putting nearly all of your personal information – full name, Social Security number, address, background – on paper, and often placing it in the hands of a stranger. This is the stuff of identity thieves’ dreams. So, what can you do to protect your identity?
- If possible, omit your Social Security number and politely indicate that it will be provided upon employment. This information is required for payroll and tax purposes, but doesn’t need to be in the hands of dozens of potential employers.
- If you’re dropping your application off in person, don’t just hand it over to the first employee you see. Make sure you’re giving your application to the Manager or someone in the Human Resources department.
- When completing an application out online, make sure the internet site is secure (look for https or the little lock icon), and make sure you’re applying to a real company. The promise of a job is perfect bait for a phishing scam.
- If you have to create an online profile, ensure that you’re using a strong password unique to that company website and application.
See ProtectMyID.com for additional information about protecting against identity theft, and good luck on your job search!