Takes Proactive Steps to Secure Personal Information

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After more than one million users had their personal information stolen, the job-search giant has been scrambling to spread good PR. Meanwhile, niche job search sites like continue taking proactive measures to make sure their users' information remains safe.

According to recent reports, the personal information of more than 1.3 million professionals was stolen by criminals who used false employer credentials to access the popular job Web site In a press release, Monster said they were not hacked, instead maintaining that malicious software was used to gather what appeared to be legitimate access; that access was then used to steal personal information.

Patrick W. Manzo, vice president of compliance and fraud prevention at Monster, added that this was not necessarily a case of identity theft, as the information stolen was "not different than that displayed in a phone book."

Nonetheless, the hijacking of these records brought to light the need for greater security on the part of both the job seeker and the job Web site. Though the larger job search sites are the most visible, they are also most likely to become targets of hackers or scammers, much in the same way that security holes are more likely to be exploited in Internet Explorer instead of Firefox or Opera - the biggest names bring the most attention.

One way to combat the theft of personal information is to search out niche job sites., established in 1994, serves the biotechnology, pharmaceutical, medical, science, and healthcare fields. By providing opportunities targeting users' field of expertise, sites like MedZilla are able to better serve job seekers while also focusing on protecting their personal information.

"Our client application process involves screening the prospective clients to ensure they have real jobs to fill," said Michele Groutage, MedZilla's director of marketing. "For added security, we also generate client passwords to eliminate the risk of them using the same password for all job boards."

"We were among the first to automatically assign every user an anonymous e-mail address," said Dr. Frank Heasley, president and CEO of MedZilla. Heasley also said MedZilla has a strict policy in place to prevent misuse of the employer and potential-employee data they collect, sometimes going so far as to take legal action against those who abuse the information they gather from the site.

One MedZilla user, who wished to remain anonymous, praised the site's attention to security and detail. After posting her resume to two mass-market job boards, she found she was receiving more unsolicited messages than anything else, but on MedZilla - which she chose because she works in pharmaceutical sales - she found a much better user experience.

"I was hesitant," she said. "I assumed that my experience would be the same as with other sites, [but] was pleasantly surprised to receive exactly what I had signed up for. No spam, no scams, no junk." In her mind, that compared favorably to receiving unsolicited e-mails from an insurance company, a service that - for an unspecified fee - offered to prepare her for the very job search she was already engaged in, and "nursing recruiters who said they [were] impressed with my nursing experience - and I'm not a nurse!"

Overall, MedZilla's policies seem to be working for their users; Groutage said they receive notes of thanks on a daily basis for their efforts to safeguard users' privacy.

Job seekers should keep the following in mind when considering submitting a resume to a job search site:

  •     How will the site protect personal information?
  •     Do they spell out their policies clearly, and make them easy to find?
  •     Are recruiters and employers screened?
  •     Does the site screen out false postings?
  •     Does the site share personal information with third parties?
  •     Is it easy to remove personal information from the site?
  •     Can resumes be targeted to specific jobs and job types, or is it "submit it and forget it?"

While the larger job search Web sites like and are the most visible, sites such as can often be more useful to those looking for specific types of jobs. With fewer unrelated jobs to search through and stronger, more robust security and privacy policies, candidates are more likely to find what they're looking for without first having to weed through dozens of unrelated job postings. Though it may take a little research to find the appropriate niche Web site, when the niche Web site pays as much attention to detail as sites like MedZilla, it's worth the time to take a look.

Established in mid-1994, MedZilla is the original web site to serve career and hiring needs for professionals and employers in biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, medicine, science and healthcare. The MedZilla jobs database contains about 7,500 open positions. The resume database currently contains over 285,000 resumes with 16,800 less than three months old. These resources have been characterized as the largest, most comprehensive databases of their kind on the web in the industries served.

Medzilla® is a Registered Trademark owned by Medzilla Inc. Copyright ©2007, MedZilla, Inc. Permission is granted to reproduce and distribute this text in its entirety, and if electronically, with a link to the URL For permission to quote from or reproduce any portion of this message, please contact Michele Groutage, Director of Marketing and Development, MedZilla, Inc. Email: mgroutage(at)


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