Startling LinkedIn Security Issues: How to Protect Your Business

by Guest Author on August 23, 2012

in Guest Posts, Security, Social Media

Mega professional social networking website LinkedIn is losing face due to a mass security breach that left 6.5 million user passwords splashed all over the Internet. After a Russian forum user claimed that he hacked LinkedIn and leaked passwords online, Twitter users confirmed that they discovered their encoded LinkedIn passwords online.

This breach in security follows another notable LinkedIn leak, where security researchers confirmed that the LinkedIn iOS app collects information from calendar entries, along with passwords, and automatically transmits it back to company servers without user permission.

For users that may have been affected by the instances listed above, LinkedIn automatically disabled user accounts whose passwords may have been at risk. Users were then notified about selecting a new password in order to reactivate the account.

Protect Your Business Against Social Media Security Leaks

If a large social networking website like LinkedIn can be affected by password security breaches, no profile is guaranteed safe. Since LinkedIn is a professional network that represents millions of global users, it’s important that businesses and individual professionals take matters into their own hands.

After changing passwords as a result of the recent security breaches, businesses should choose new passwords carefully. A strong and secure password that is difficult for a third-party to guess will make it easier to keep private information safe.

Although it may seem like a no-brainer, experts recommend not choosing a password that can be found in a dictionary, no matter how random the word may be. A unique combination of lowercase and uppercase letters and numbers will work best to keep a social profile safe against hackers.

On top of that, make it a practice to use a new password for all online profiles. To make it easier and safer to remember a long list of user IDs and passwords, use a program like Last Pass to securely store the information on your web browser.  Last Pass will enable you to quickly login to websites with the single click of a mouse. All encrypted data will be automatically synchronized so that it can be accessed from different computers at any time with a secure login.

Finally, always stay vigilant against potential hacking and spamming opportunities online. One way to do so is to avoid automatically clicking on URL links; roughly 30% of viruses come from social spam sent to users within a social network. The wisest move is to only update private company information directly through a social website instead of clicking on an external link sent via e-mail or a social message.

While many of the precautions listed above may seem obvious, tightening online security is the only way to keep private business information on a social profile safe.

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Guest article written by: Bethany Ramos is a full-time freelance writer and coffee lover that co-owns her own e-commerce website, thecoffeebump.com.

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Guest article written by: Bethany Ramos is a full-time freelance writer and coffee lover that co-owns her own e-commerce website, thecoffeebump.com.

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Anton Koekemoer August 24, 2012 at 10:33

Yes – One should be vigilant on your security and privacy settings – not only in LinkedIn but in all your other social media profiles. People’s accounts have been compromised due to their Gmail (as an example) being hacked and then getting access to change or see the existing passwords to other profiles in different communities and social media channels.

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Frank Martin August 24, 2012 at 17:14

In an article by Vicente Silveira (June 6, 2012), “Updating Your Password on LinkedIn and Other Account Security Best Practices.” It is clear that LinkedIn demonstrates responsibility and concern for its customers, but ultimately offers remedies and steps to prevent future security breaks that only the users themselves can and should take. Translation: Mr. Koekemoer is right –One should be vigilant in all social media channels. Besides, any lack of action on this regard constitutes a risk that entails serious legal and financial consequences.
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