Many of you have probably already heard about the LinkedIn security breach which occurred last Wednesday. According to Reuters, “more than 6 million customer passwords turned up on underground sites frequented by criminal hackers.”
LinkIn is, of course, one of the largest and most popular of the social media sites, boasting some of the top business leaders in the world as members. Consequently, the security breach is troubling, doubly so because many experts worry that the breach may have been even more serious than what has so far been disclosed.
I don’t pretend to know how extensive or how serious the breach is, whether LinkedIn’s reputation will be damaged by the breach or whether their security protocols met industry standards or not. What I do know is that the best thing that LinkedIn users can do at this point is to change their password. If you’re using a password for LinkedIn that you are using for other accounts, those account passwords need to be changed as well.
When choosing a password, it pays to make the password as strong as possible.
- Choose a password that is at least 8 characters in length.
- Include both upper and lower case letters and numbers in your password.
- Choose a password that is easy for you to remember but not easy for a potential hacker to guess.
- Avoid passwords that contain sensitive or easy to find information, such as your social security number, birthday, address, or telephone number.
LinkedIn allegedly has disabled all passwords which have been compromised. However, if you have a LinkedIn account, you should change your password immediately whether you have received notification of a compromise or not. This is one instance where safe is better than sorry.
Meanwhile, though the security breach is significant and is not being taken lightly, still it has garnered its share of jokes, as reported in this post on PR Daily.