What personal information is safe to share publicly (online)? I have a CV online with my email address, mobile number, land line number, ID number and year of birth (not date of birth). I live in South Africa where there is a lot of physical crime, so I recently took off my street address to prevent potential burglars from finding out if my house is uninhabited or not (by calling the land line) before attempting a break-in. Am I giving away too much personal information?

  • Too late. Search for google search cache and you'll see several offers how to view previous versions of your CV. – ott-- Oct 29 '15 at 22:09
  • Good point. The web is forever. OTOH assuming you control the site the CV is hosted on, you can request link removal by all the major search engines using their webmaster tools. I would remove that old link; as ott points out, your street address is likely out there now. Then upload the updated CV under a new URL. – Rodrigo M Oct 29 '15 at 22:32
  • I'm all for sharing as little as possible... but who seriously goes out looking for cached versions of resumes to conduct a single residence burglary? Wouldn't it just be easier to park out front and steal a wallet, watch, and get the keys on your way into that fancy house? – Dave Oct 29 '15 at 23:10

IMHO, the less the you share online the lower the risk of being targeted in some by spammers, hacker, identity thieves, phishing scams, ex-boy/girl friends,thieves etc.

Given the context (an online CV) lets look at each piece of data, and determine its risk/requirement for the context of an online CV.

email address

I would strongly suggest you do not provide your primary email address here, as you will certainly be targeted by email spammers, and your inbox will suddenly be filled with Viagra offers, lottery 'winning' notifications, urgent parcel delivery notices, PayPal refund notices, etc etc. All spam or phishing attempts. You do want to be contacted by prospective employers, not by spammers. Lower the risk Use a Disposable email address service here, and you are safe.

mobile number, land line number

Again on an online CV, a phone number is nice, but not absolutely required if you have posted a disposable email address. This again invites possible spam SMS messages, unwanted phone calls, and loss of privacy - assuming its your home phone, I would treat that like my home address: nobody gets that unless they are actual friends/colleagues/family.

ID number

Careful with this one. In the US anyway, our ID numbers are Social Security numbers, and are really not shared. SSNs any are primary identifies associated with tax returns, bank accounts, credit reports. etc. Even when communicating with trusted providers that have my account information, they will only ask for the last 4 digits for identification purposes.

year of birth

This data is fine I suppose, but again, why provide it in this context? One can simply guess your age based on your educational and work history, usually. I like to keep them guessing a bit on my age anyway.

In summary, name and a disposable email is all I would share. If you used LinkedIn, that type of data is always good to see on a CV.

Perhaps I am paranoid, but I would only offer Name and Email as data. If they like your CV, all they need to do is send an email! You provide more details as needed.

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    It's good advice, but if you're really paranoid get a disposable phone and list that number. Don't miss a job offer protecting information that major corporations and governments give away for free. – Dave Oct 29 '15 at 23:15

It really depends person to person what's considered safe. I happily provide the world with my address, phone, email, and other bits of personal information. I also have firearms and live in a good neighborhood where just about everyone is armed. If I was in a crime riddled area I may not be so open.

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All of these are said to be PII (Personal Identifiable Information). If you trust the source you are putting your information into - i.e. if the the box of this information holder is secure, you'd be automatically secure. Otherwise, you are already in danger to data-theft given that the site has data leakages though any or all of the following:

  1. DataBase Injection of any kind (MySQL, MS-SQL, etc.)
  2. Physical Data Migration Weaknessess
  3. SSI, LFI, RFI - you name it is leveraged to host compromises and then server side data-thefts.

Aforementioned are the cases wherein your data might or might not be compromised or even if the holder of this PII has taken care of it's information warehouses via a safe security audit and good well-formed best security practices - it's risk are only lowered but never gone.

Hence the question which is at stake might need a re-consideration since security isn't measured in terms of - this should had happened or not or am I at total risk or not (it's always safe to assume you are at risk to be cautious and prevent risks), the more appropriate question might be the holder I am trusting my data with has gone through proper security audits to minimize my data theft risk or not?.

Now that's upto you how you trust this information holder and leave the rest if you have had to upload your CV anyway.

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