As National Fraud Awareness Week comes to an end, we wanted to share tips for job seekers to better protect themselves from online fraud. Job seekers, in particular, spend a lot of time online (filling out online job applications, networking, and more) which can put them at a higher risk for fraudulent activity. If you’re a job seeker, here are a handful of tips to use during National Fraud Awareness week – and all year long!

Determine if a Website is Secure

  1. It’s important that a URL (Universal Resource Locator) begins with “https” because it means that the connection is encrypted and more secure.
  2. Check for a padlock icon to the left of the URL – this usually means that the website has a special type of certificate that required deeper identity verification.
  3. Always check to see if a company has its physical address and phone number listed on the website. By including contact information, a website is more reputable.

Increase Password Protection

  1. Use a unique password for each one of your online accounts. This will lessen the chance that if someone hacks one of your accounts, they will not be able to access your other accounts.
  2. Keep you passwords in a safe location (do not store them near your computer or desk). If you have hundreds of accounts, you might want to look into password manager services to simplify your life.
  3. Use a mix of letters, numbers and symbols. Some symbols that can be used include question marks, exclamation points, and even the percent sign. Also, replacing letters with numbers and vice versa could increase protection, such as using a zero instead of an O or a three instead of an E.
  4. Don’t use personal information – no names, pet names, or birthdays. Usually when trying to crack a password, individuals will guess these easy passwords first.

Stay Safe on Public Wi-Fi

  1. Turn off sharing functionalities. Your device is usually set up to automatically assume the network is trustworthy, so make sure to switch off this function to increase digital safety.
  2. Use “https” websites when possible. These websites have an encrypted connection, and are more secure.
  3. If possible, use a Virtual Private Network (VPN.) Although a VPN may have a fee, the extra security is usually worth it!

Click here for more information on protecting yourself from fraud!