There’s never been a better time than now to check and tighten your LinkedIn account security and privacy: After all, email addresses and hashed (and sometimes already cracked) passwords of the network‘s users have been put up for sale for some time already. Still, it’s no reason to panic. You can do a lot to stay on top of things.
1. Choose a safe password (and change yours if you haven’t yet!)
You’ve heard it before, you’ll hear it again. It’s the best first advice you’ll get for any account breach out there. Apart from the tips we’ve already shared with you a couple of times, I also want to stress that you should really update your password – not only on LinkedIn but everywhere where you used the same one. This is your first line of defense.
2. Enable LinkedIns two-step verification
As most networks nowadays, LinkedIn gives you the option to use their two-step verification. It is an extra layer of security that makes sure that you, and only you, can log into your account – even if your password has been stolen.
In order to set everything up, go to ‘Privacy and Settings’, click on ‘account’ and scroll down until you see ‘Two-Step verification” in the “Login and Security” section of the page. Now just follow the instructions on screen.
3. Review your Privacy settings
Now that that’s set click on the privacy tab. Once there you should consider checking out all the options (and perhaps updating some of them). While you might want to get as connected as possible, it’s important that you know what exactly you are sharing with whom. Should everyone have access to your activity feed, home address, and phone number for example? And what about your connections; Do people really need to know with whom you’ve worked or are acquainted with?
Now – you might wonder why it actually does matter and what it has to do with your security: In a world were phishing and scamming are becoming more sophisticated and rely more and more on social engineering, information like that are invaluable to cybercriminals.
4. Be careful who you trust
As with most other networks you’ll find your variety of scammers on LinkedIn, too. They range from “You’ve won one month of free premium account, please login with your LinkedIn account information below” to offering amazing jobs that allow you to work from home, but where you’ll never be paid a cent.
If you ever receive such a private message – or any other message that sounds kind of fishy – make sure to report it to LinkedIn immediately and block the contact.
By the way: We’ve already talked about the 5 signs of a hacked social media account some time ago in this blog post. Read it if you want to find out whether you are a victim or not and what to do in case you were actually hacked!