Online Marketing Strategies, Tips & Articles for Business

Online marketing and social media tips for business from Shannon Belew, best-selling author of "Starting an Online Business For Dummies, All-in-One"

LinkedIn Security Breach: Change Your Password

Rumors began circulating  that LinkedIn has experienced a security breach with user passwords being compromised. Considered the largest online professional network, it is home to more than 150 million users from all over the world. With so many members using the service, including many high-profile executives, there’s always a good deal on the line from the stand point of reputation management for the brand – from a security viewpoint.  LinkedIn’s security group was initially unable to confirm the incident, referring to it as “reports of stolen passwords.”

Instead, LinkedIn officials took to the official LinkedIn blog to advise users to follow best practices on frequently updating passwords – at least quarterly; and to create a strong password – usually a combination of random numbers and letters. (A password generator tool is always a good way to ensure you craft a truly strong password.)

If you are using LinkedIn, now is probably a good time to put that advice to use and change your password (even if you’ve recently done so). If you need help, BusinessInsider.com has a nice, quick article with instructions on how-to change your LinkedIn password – and it includes screen shots.

LinkedIn also offers the following tips and best practices (from its blog):

Changing Your Password:

  • Never change your password by following a link in an email, since those links might be compromised and redirect you to the wrong place.
  • You can change your password from the LinkedIn Settings page.
  • If you don’t remember your password, you can get password help by clicking on the Forgot password? link on the Sign in page.
  • In order for passwords to be effective, you should aim to update your online account passwords every few months or at least once a quarter.

Creating a Strong Password:

  • Variety – Don’t use the same password on all the sites you visit.
  • Don’t use a word from the dictionary.
  • Length – Select strong passwords that can’t easily be guessed with 10 or more characters.
  • Think of a meaningful phrase, song or quote and turn it into a complex password using the first letter of each word.
  • Complexity – Randomly add capital letters, punctuation or symbols.
  • Substitute numbers for letters that look similar (for example, substitute “0″ for “o” or “3″ for “E”.
  • Never give your password to others or write it down.

A few other account security and privacy best practices to keep in mind are:

  • Sign out of your account after you use a publicly shared computer.
  • Manage your account information and privacy settings from the Profile and Account sections of your Settings page.
  • Keep your antivirus software up to date.
  • Don’t put your email address, address or phone number in your profile’s Summary.
  • Only connect to people you know and trust.
  • Report any privacy issues to Customer Service.

[UPDATED]

LinkedIn officials have said, “We can confirm that some of the passwords that were compromised correspond to LinkedIn accounts. We are continuing to investigate this situation…” If you are one of the reported 6.5 million users with a compromised account, here’s what you can expect:

  1. Members that have accounts associated with the compromised passwords will notice that their LinkedIn account password is no longer valid.
  2. These members will also receive an email from LinkedIn with instructions on how to reset their passwords. There will not be any links in this email. Once you follow this step and request password assistance, then you will receive an email from LinkedIn with a password reset link.
  3. These affected members will receive a second email from our Customer Support team providing a bit more context on this situation and why they are being asked to change their passwords.

 

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This entry was posted on 2012 by in News & Events, Social Media and tagged , , , .

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