Cybersecurity Awareness: How to Safeguard Your Cleared Job Search Online

Posted by Ashley Jones
cybersecurity awareness

October isn’t just about pumpkin spice lattes and Halloween preparations – it’s also Cybersecurity Awareness Month. For cleared professionals navigating job search in a digital landscape with increasing threats, this month is a great reminder to secure your job search.

Cybersecurity Awareness Month is a collaborative effort between government and industry to ensure every American has the resources they need to stay safe and secure online. In an era where almost every aspect of our lives is connected to the internet, being aware of cybersecurity is no longer just for IT professionals and cyber experts.

As you embark on a search for your next cleared job, it’s crucial to keep cybersecurity in mind. Buckle up and get ready to dive into the world of online security as it relates to your cleared job search.

What Does Cybersecurity Have to Do with Job Search

Job search involves sharing sensitive data online, from your resume or cover letter, to the personal details you submit via job applications. Cybercriminals are aware of this and target job seekers to obtain valuable data for various malicious purposes, including identity theft and financial fraud.

By being aware of cybersecurity best practices, you not only protect yourself but also demonstrate your digital competency to potential employers. Consider the following tips for a secure cleared job search.

1. Create Strong, Unique Passwords

Job search often involves accounts on job boards, professional networking sites, and sites for gathering industry research like Glassdoor or salary calculators. When you sign up for new accounts, always use complex passwords comprising a mix of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols. Avoid using the same password across multiple platforms. Consider using a reliable password manager to generate and store unique passwords securely.

2. Beware of Phishing Attempts

Phishing emails and websites are designed to trick you into revealing sensitive information. Be cautious when clicking on links or downloading attachments from unknown sources. Verify the authenticity of emails before responding to them, especially if they request personal information.

3. Update Your Devices and Software

Regularly update your operating system, antivirus software, and applications. Cybercriminals often target outdated software with known vulnerabilities. Keeping everything up-to-date ensures you have the latest security patches and protection against potential threats. Plus, with everything updated you’ll help to ensure any virtual interviews in your future will run smoothly. You don’t want your system rebooting mid interview due to an update you put off.

4. Use Secure Job Portals

Stick to reputable job search websites and company sites. Avoid websites that promise job opportunities but request excessive personal information upfront. You want to know who you’re sharing your personal information with. At ClearedJobs.Net we only allow direct hire cleared facilities employers to post jobs and search our resume database to ensure security.

5. Secure Your Social Media Profiles

Many employers check social media profiles during the hiring process. Adjust your privacy settings to control who can see your information. Be mindful of the details you share online, as cybercriminals can use seemingly harmless information to impersonate you or guess your passwords. Also, keep in mind (whether your account is locked down or not) the content you post, like, and share on social media can jeopardize your security clearance if it calls into question Guideline A of the Adjudicative Guidelines, Allegiance to the United States.

6. Enable Two-Factor Authentication (2FA)

2FA adds an extra layer of security by requiring a second form of verification, such as a text message or authentication app, in addition to your password. We know it can be irritating to add extra log in steps, but it’s a good idea to enable 2FA wherever possible to enhance your account security.

7. Research Companies

Before applying for jobs, research potential employers to ensure they are legitimate. Scammers often pose as reputable companies to collect personal information. Check the company’s official website and verify their contact information before sharing your details and falling prey to an employment scam.

8. Be Cautious with Personal Information

Limit the personal information you include in your networking resume and public profiles like LinkedIn. While it’s essential to showcase your skills and experience, avoid including sensitive details like your home address, date of birth, SSN, or security clearance. One instance where you can safely include your clearance level is on your resume on ClearedJobs.Net and at Cleared Job Fairs, as only cleared facilities employers are allowed to attend.

9. Regularly Monitor Your Accounts

Keep a close eye on your bank accounts, email, and other online accounts for any suspicious activities. Report any unauthorized transactions or unusual activities immediately to the respective service providers. And if you’re suspicious of an employment scam, reach out to someone at the company to confirm. They’ll appreciate you bringing the situation to their attention.

10. Educate Yourself

Stay informed about common cybersecurity threats and tactics used by scammers. Understanding their methods empowers you to recognize potential risks and respond appropriately. As they often say, knowledge is power.

This Cybersecurity Awareness Month, take the opportunity to improve your online defenses, ensuring a safe and successful cleared job search. Stay vigilant!


  • Ashley Jones

    Ashley Jones is ClearedJobs.Net's blog Editor and a cleared job search expert, dedicated to helping security-cleared job seekers and employers navigate job search and recruitment challenges. With in-depth experience assisting cleared job seekers and transitioning military personnel at in-person and virtual Cleared Job Fairs and military base hiring events, Ashley has a deep understanding of the unique needs of the cleared community. She is also the Editor of ClearedJobs.Net's job search podcast, Security Cleared Jobs: Who's Hiring & How.

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This entry was posted on Monday, October 16, 2023 1:17 pm

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