As a LinkedIn Expert, I thought I knew how to prevent fraud. Typically I advise my students to change their passwords “often.” Now, I am not sure that is a sufficient response. ” Often,” is a word that means many times or frequently. That leaves room for interpretation.
Let me tell you a story about identity fraud which happened to me very recently. I received an email from a LinkedIn member who told me he received an unsolicited request to connect with someone. When he went to review the profile, he realized this person had copied my text verbatim, including my name in her profile. She added her education and used my heading, narrative, and work history to try and make herself stand out. Unfortunately she was not smart enough to take my name out of her profile.
So when I received this email telling me to report it I thought it was quite bazaar. After a thorough investigation I realized she stole my identity. I promptly changed all my passwords and decided to contact LinkedIn for support.
This is how I proceeded:
I googled LinkedIn Help at: http://help.linkedin.com only to find the following response:
Fraudsters may use a practice called phishing to obtain sensitive data like usernames, passwords, and credit card information. They impersonate legitimate companies or people, sending emails and links that direct people to false websites.
- Please use caution when clicking or opening emails, seemingly from sites you trust.
- Fraudsters try to mimic legitimate emails, but they often make mistakes like typos or include information that’s not relevant to you. Be suspicious of emails that include names you don’t recognize.
- Keep in mind that a site like LinkedIn would never ask you to open an email attachment or install a software update.
- If you get an email that seems suspicious or is from a person or company you don’t know, we advise you not to open any attachments or click any links.
- Before clicking on a link in an email, move your cursor over the link to verify that they direct to the appropriate site.
- If you’ve already clicked on links or attachments in the message, you can scan your computer using a current version of antivirus software.
- When in doubt, open a new browser window and go directly to Linkedin.com to check your inbox and verify the connection request or message.
Note: If you’ve recently requested a password reset or you were prompted by security verification message to check your email when signing in, you should see a message directly related to your request within a few minutes. Learn more if you’re not receiving emails from us.
To protect your information, we adhere to the following principles:
- We never rent or sell your personally identifiable information to third parties for marketing purposes.
- We never share your contact information with another user without your consent.
- Any personally identifiable information that you provide will be secured with all industry standard protocols and technology.
Since this info did not help me, I decided to look further. This is what I found about Privacy Protection:
2. How can I be sure that my privacy will be protected on LinkedIn?
LinkedIn is committed to protecting the privacy of all individuals who use our services, and our privacy policies are certified and monitored by TRUSTe as compliant with United States and European Union privacy laws.
The User Conduct section of the LinkedIn User Agreement also shows the policies that users agree to respect regarding the privacy of other users. You’ll find the User Agreement link at the bottom of any LinkedIn page.
LinkedIn does not give out your email address or other personally identifiable information to other users or to third parties without your permission.
Regarding data security, access to your data on LinkedIn is password-protected and sensitive data (such as credit card information) is protected by SSL encryption when it is exchanged between your web browser and our website. We use a tier-one secured-access provider that supplies services to some of the largest and most secure sites on the internet to protect any data you store on our servers. We also regularly audit our system for possible vulnerabilities and attacks.
3. Still without a solution, I contacted LinkedIn by secure document with DocSign.
I explained in detail offering names, links, pictures and a copy of the email I received making me aware of this.
Linkedin is now investigating the fraud on my behalf. They assigned it a case # and here I wait for an explanation. In the meantime, I contacted the person who emailed me to say thank you.
My advice to you is to change your password to a complex combination of letters and numbers and do it a minimum of once a week. What would you do? I’d love to hear your feedback.