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LinkedIn breach: How to protect yourself online
The social media site did its best to perform damage control and encouraged users to change their passwords immediately.
While LinkedIn quickly took action, the company has insisted it shut down all affected accounts and doesnâ€™t believe other users are at risk.
The incident raises important questions for businesses about the security of their data, whether shared over social media, stored on a private website, or on a mobile or internet ready device.
LinkedIn director Vicente Silveria has provided some security tips on the companyâ€™s blog. â€śWhile our investigation continues, we thought it would be a good idea to remind our members that one of the best ways to protect your privacy and security online is to craft a strong password, to change it frequently and to not use the same password on multiple sites,â€ť Silveria wrote.
â€śUse this as an opportunity to review all of your account settings on LinkedIn and on other sites too,â€ť he added. â€śRemember, no matter what website youâ€™re on, itâ€™s important for you to make sure you protect your account security and privacy.â€ť
Silveria offers these tips to keep passwords safe:
Changing Your Password:
- Never change your password by following a link in an email that you did not request, since those links might be compromised and redirect you to the wrong place.
- You canÂ change your passwordÂ from the LinkedInÂ SettingsÂ page.
- If you donâ€™t remember your password, you can getÂ password helpÂ by clicking on theÂ Forgot password?Â link on the Sign inÂ 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 â€“ Donâ€™t use the same password on all the sites you visit
- Donâ€™t use a word from the dictionary.
- Length â€“ Select strong passwords that canâ€™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 â€“ Randomly add capital letters, punctuation or symbols.
- Substitute numbers for letters that look similar (for example, substitute â€ś0â€ł for â€śoâ€ť or â€ś3â€ł for â€śEâ€ť.
- Never give your password to others or write it down.
A few other account security and privacy practices to keep in mind are:
- Sign out of your account after you use a publicly shared computer.
- Manage yourÂ account information and privacy settingsÂ from theÂ ProfileÂ andÂ AccountÂ sections of your SettingsÂ page.
- Keep your antivirus software up to date.
- Donâ€™t put your email address, address or phone number in your profileâ€™sÂ Summary.
- Only connect to people you know and trust.
- Report any privacy issues toÂ Customer Service.
Diana Dietz is the Multimedia Journalist at the Pennsylvania Association of Realtors(R)