Cybersecurity Worker shows how companies conduct background checks

Today, it is becoming increasingly common for employers to screen a candidate’s social media profiles prior to hiring. In a 2017 CareerBuilder survey, 70% of employers said they checked an applicant’s social media profiles as part of the application process. A whopping 54% of employers said they even dismissed applications based on what they found on social media.

The big question is how does an employer find someone’s social media? Now a user on TikTok has gone viral after explaining how a potential employer can stumble upon your social media.

TikTok user and cybersecurity worker Chris (@chrisjr404) stitches together a video of another creator (@moosquatch69) claiming he lost a job because the employer vetted his social media profiles, and shows two tools used to an employer could monitor someone else’s profile online presence. All the tools need is the applicant’s email address or username. His video has received over 8.5 million views.

@chrisjr404 #stitch with @shoomew How a company can find your digital footprint #tech #techcareer #techtok #technology #cyber #cybersecurity ♬ Dracula – Horror Sound FX – Merrick Lowell

The two tools Chris demonstrates are Mosint and Nexfil, although there are many other applications and third parties that can perform similar searches.

With Mosint, an employer can enter an email address and see numerous accounts associated with the address. Nexfil requires an employer to enter a screen name, and the program will search the Internet for accounts on various websites that match that name.

In the comments section, users were rightfully upset by what they were seeing, with many saying that a company that does this is not worth working for.

“When a company gets that deep into me, I don’t want to work there anyway,” shared one user. “I can’t have a personal life outside of work?”

“Eventually they will run out of candidates because what 30-year-old in 2030 won’t have a questionable digital footprint?” asked another.

“It should be illegal for a business to see what you do in your free time,” said a third. In a follow-up video, Chris agreed before demonstrating another search tool employers can use to gather information.

@chrisjr404 in reply to @moosquatch69 Here’s how a company can find what your posting online #tech #techcareer #techtok #technology #cyber #cybersecurity ♬ Original sound – chrisjr404

Tools like these prompted TikToker to recommend that they distance their personal lives online from what their employer can find.

“So we have to give them a different email address lol,” wrote one user.

“For this very reason, you should have a personal email address specifically for work (also a specific username),” advised a second. “Don’t use them anywhere else.”

In the United States, it is legal for employers to screen social media usage, while in the European Union employers must “require a ‘legal basis’ before screening potential employees’ social media profiles,” per the Irish Times.

“Regulators add that the data collected in a search must be necessary and ‘relevant to doing the job,'” writes author Paul McClean.

For now, Chris recommends American job applicants delete unneeded social media and set the accounts they want to keep to private and change the name to ensure they can’t be identified.

The Daily Dot contacted Chris via email.


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*Initial publication: November 25, 2022 at 10:29 am CST

Braden Bjella

Braden Bjella is a culture writer. His work can be found in Mixmag, Electronic Beats, Schön! magazine and more.

Braden Bjella Cybersecurity Worker shows how companies conduct background checks

Jaclyn Diaz

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