LinkedIn is by far the largest social media platform specifically designed for business networking. The platform has approximately 700 million active users, and in Q1 of 2020, user counts increased 22%.
The platform has only become more robust over the years, expanding with a leaning center, job search and hiring feature, and the ability to do direct PPC marketing. But like any social media platform, information can be overshared, which can end up with someone being taken in by a scam or having sensitive data breached. Social platforms like LinkedIn are often outside a company’s normal network cybersecurity protections, which means users need to be extra vigilant about protecting their data. If you’re one of the millions of professionals that use LinkedIn for business networking, read on for several important do’s and don’ts you need to know about to ensure you’re not leaving yourself vulnerable.
Do Protect Your Account with Two-Factor Authentication
Social media accounts are often a target for credential theft. They give hackers a prime phishing platform to contact other users posing as someone they know. If a breach happens to your account, it can lead to irreparable harm to your business reputation. Visit your account settings to turn on two-step verification, which will help protect your account from being breached, even if the hacker has your password.
Don’t Leave Sharing Settings at the Default
You have control on LinkedIn when it comes to the amount of data you share with others. You don’t want to just ignore these important security settings and leave your account at the defaults. Visit your account settings and look at the Visibility settings. These will allow you to control how your information is shared with others on the platform. These settings allow you to change things like:
- Whether or not you’re visible while on the platform
- How your public profile appears
- Who can see or download your email address
- Who can see your list of LinkedIn connections
- Who can see your last name
- Who can see your posts and updates
- And more
You want to explore these settings and set your sharing of personal information to be as limited as possible. Hackers often scape LinkedIn to get information they can use in spear phishing attacks.
Do Be Vigilant About InMail Messages
LinkedIn’s version of direct messages is called InMail, and it’s not impervious to the same types of phishing scams that you see in your normal email inbox. It’s important to be wary about any unsolicited messages from people you don’t know, especially if they ask you for personal information or try to send you a link. People tend to have their guard down on LinkedIn because they figure that it’s a community of other like-minded businesspeople and are looking to make fruitful connections. But this is just what scammers are looking for in a victim. So be just as suspicious of InMail messages that are unexpected as you do when receiving email.
Don’t Accept Just Any Connection Request
Getting connection requests from people you don’t know can be exciting because you’re expanding your business network on LinkedIn, which is a main reason people use the platform. But not all those connection requests are sincere. Some of them could be people that just want to get access to your connections list so they can “leapfrog” you to get to another contact. Others may be spammers using the platform to send unsolicited advertising. Yet another type of connection may be a cybercriminal that plans to target you for identity theft. On LinkedIn (as well as any social media network), don’t just accept any connection request that comes your way. Check out the person’s profile to see if it looks legitimate and look up the company they show online to see if it’s for real. A few minutes of research can save you a lot of grief later!
Do Change Your Password Regularly
Do you still have the same LinkedIn password that you did when you set up your account years ago? It’s a good idea to change your password regularly, at least a couple times a year, so you’re not leaving yourself at risk of an account breach. Users often reuse passwords across multiple accounts. If a login you used for your Marriott hotel points gets breached (as Marriott did recently), and it’s the same login you use for LinkedIn, it won’t take long for hackers to realize this and gain access.
Schedule Cybersecurity User Training with Onsite Techs
95 percent of all security incidents involve human error, which means that employee cybersecurity training is vital to keeping your business network safe. Onsite Techs of Rhode Island has experts that can train your team on social media security and much more. Contact us today to set up a consultation at 401-415-6290 or reach out online.