LinkedIn Security Breach

Well, it has been confirmed by LinkedIn and several news broadcasts that the professional social media website was hacked. Yes, the LinkedIn security breach involved 6.5 million passwords that have been compromised. Scary, isn’t it? This could affect you job search and your career connections.

If you have not changed your password, do it now!

Below are instructions on how to change your password:

  • Log into LinkedIn as you normally would.
  • Click on your name (on the upper right hand corner of the screen you will see you namer in blue letters).
  • You should see a drop down menu icon to the left of your name. Click the icon.
  • Select “Settings”
  • A new page will come up as a result of the link.
  • You should see “Password: change” as an option in a blue box on the left side of the screen, under your name. Select “change”.

When selecting passwords, you want to make sure that they are hard to guess. You want to choose a combination of:

  • Upper case characters (A B C)
  • Lower case characters (a b c)
  • Numbers (1 2 3)
  • Symbols (# $ % – [shift] + [number] on your keyboard)

A pop up window will appear. Enter your old password, new password, and confirm you new password.

One idea is to choose the first letters of a favorite song, movie or book, and then add the year that song was recorded, that movie was shown, or book went into print. This will help you brush up on your trivia too!

Another idea is to use numbers for letters (i.e., E = 3, o = 0, i = 1).

Remember your password should be difficult to guess. You should never share it with anyone, and no online vendor (LinkedIn, Facebook, or your bank) will ever email you saying they need it.

Be selective what you share online. Picture your privacy information as toothpaste in a tube. Once it has been squeezed out from the tube. It is impossible to put it back in. Once you give your information out, you can never get it back.

Finally, be selective with whom you link with. If someone is requesting you as a friend, and you seem to remember befriending them in the past, shoot them out an email and ask them if they sent another friend request. I had a friend who had her profile picture stolen, and the hackers tried to befriend me. I knew that she and I were already friends. I’m glad I checked with her because she had no idea that someone had stolen information from her Facebook account.

Another suggestion is if someone tries to link with you and you don’t know them, email the shared contacts you have in common. Ask them how they know this person. It doesn’t hurt to communicate and ask questions; after all, isn’t that what social media is for? Communication? I say better safe than sorry.

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