It is important to change passwords on social media
LinkedIn last week acknowledged that they recently became aware of over 100 million of its members are victims of stolen emails and passwords. The data was offered for sale on the dark market. It seems that the data was stolen in 2012. At that time, it was disclosed that over 6 million passwords were stolen and the company took measures to notify impacted members and improve overall security.
The concern for members now is if a password for LinkedIn is also used by a member for other online accounts. Data breaches tell us that people still often reuse passwords for multiple sensitive accounts. While a member may not care much is someone gets access to his LinkedIn account, he is very likely to be negatively impacted if the same password is used for illegal access to his bank account or company email account.
What You Should Do Now
Improve your cybersecurity with these action steps:
- If you have not changed your password since 2012, LinkedIn has, or will be soon, reaching out to you and invalidate your password. When you change your password, consider reviewing your profile and updating information. What you want to share about yourself today may be different than what you said previously.
- If you changed your password since 2012, you should change it again now. Follow standard password guidance of using a combination of upper case, lower case, symbols and numbers. A longer password can be safer than a shorter one. Refrain from using the names of your children, best friends, relatives and pets. An amazing number of people still use “Charlie”, “Jessica”, “Jason” or other common names as passwords. Don’t use a password for sites such as LinkedIn that you also use for a sensitive data site like banking. And don’t use “linkedin” or a variation, as hackers try these passwords first.
- LinkedIn offers two step verification for increased security. They provide a “how-to” guide for easy set up. Add a phone number to your account, if you don’t have one linked already and then add two step verification.
- If you used the same password for LinkedIn and another site, you should change your password on the other site also, making it different from your new and your old LinkedIn passwords.
- If you use your LinkedIn credentials to directly log in to other sites, you should update your credentials and/or passwords there also.
For more information on protecting yourself online visit the National Cybersecurity Institute.
LinkedIn (n.d.) Turning two-step verification on and off. Retrieved from https://www.linkedin.com/help/linkedin/answer/544
Scott, C. (2016, May 18). Protecting our members. LinkedIn. Retrieved from https://blog.linkedin.com/2016/05/18/protecting-our-members