Last week, more than 6 million LinkedIn user passwords were posted on hacker sites, and according to LinkedIn, all passwords involved have been disabled (Reuters reported). LinkedIn said in a blog post that they had no reports of member accounts being breached as a result of the stolen passwords.
This comes as we have been cautioning our readers to use safety precautions across all social media sites, specifically LinkedIn. Because LinkedIn is a professional platform, many users seem to feel more secure with the site, but users always need to be sure they are taking safety measures with every online account they hold. With LinkedIn in particular, not only is your personal information at risk but also your reputation with your connections and potentially your company’s information.
What can you do to stay protected?
1. Never give your password to anyone. Support personnel who are authorized to access your accounts don’t need it.
2. Use a different, secure password for each account. Secure passwords should ideally contain 16 characters or more including mixed upper and lower case, numbers, and if possible, special characters.
3. You should change your password multiple times throughout the year for a single account.
4. Don’t post the answers to your secret questions on your social media accounts. “Where did you attend high school?” Many times, people pick secret questions for which they’ve already mentioned the answers on social media sites. Attackers will do their research, and often that fun fact you mentioned on your social media is the answer they need to access more critical accounts, like your banking.
If you ever feel your account has been compromised, you need to alert the security team of the organization you have an account with ASAP (e.g. LinkedIn, etc.). Immediately change your password and secret questions, along with your password on any other accounts that have a similar password.