A growing concern in our increasingly digital world is identity theft, and the amount of information that we leave scattered on the digital landscape we traverse is alarming. Some of it is an inevitable trade-off for the convenience of the 21st Century, and some of it is carelessness, whether intentional or not.

One thing we can do in the job search realm – because if you’re not searching for jobs using technology, you’re not really searching for a job – is to keep some information private. I’m referring to information like home addresses and personal email accounts. No company or recruiter needs to know your home address until you sign and offer letter and/or payroll documents; the zip code on your resume is enough of an indicator of your location that an applicant tracking system can narrow you down to a few square miles. Want proof? Do a google search of your zip code and see how small the area is on the result!

Personal email addresses are often usernames for our social media and eCommerce sites, which definitely contain sensitive information. Using a personal email account on your resume is okay if you’re not afraid of the risk, but creating a job search specific email account is an easy and safe way to prevent risk. Creating a new email account is free. It’s a low investment for a high return on not having your private digital information found by a potential employer.

A lot of our information is out there, but we don’t have to make it easy for digital thieves to take steal our identity. Especially during a period of job searching, which is already stressful enough.