According to various media reports, over six million LinkedIn accounts have been hacked and passwords stolen in order to gain access to user accounts.
IT and technology experts are advising users of the popular social network, mostly used by businessmen and women, to change their passwords. LinkedIn currently has 161 million users worldwide.
Managing the risk with LinkedIn accounts
LinkedIn has already started taking measures regarding the compromised accounts, according to Bruce Mubayiwa, a LinkedIn coach and professional networking expert. “As a precautionary measure, LinkedIn users should change their passwords. LinkedIn has provided the following update regarding this situation,” says Mubayiwa.
• Members that have accounts associated with the compromised passwords will notice that their LinkedIn account password is no longer valid.
• These members will also receive an email from LinkedIn with instructions on how to reset their passwords. There will not be any links on this email.
• Once you follow this step and request password assistance, you will receive an email from LinkedIn with a password reset link. The 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 password.
Tips regarding security for online profiles
Avoid logging into your online profiles from public computers, advises Mubayiwa. “If you do log into your online profile from a public computer, make sure you clear the browsing history afterwards. Sometimes people do not properly log out of an account and the next person that uses that computer can go straight onto their profile.”
Creating strong passwords for your online profiles
• 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 “O” for “0” or “E” for “3”.
• NEVER give your password to others, or write it down.