LinkedIn has once again been struck by a massive data leak, this time affecting around 92% of users. This is not the first time LinkedIn has been hit by a substantial hack, as they were hit three months ago by a hack of a similar magnitude.
With such a large pair of hacks happening in such close vicinity of each other, it's safe to assume two things: Firstly, LinkedIn needs to improve their cyber security, as their entire customer base has fallen victim multiple times. Secondly, if you have a LinkedIn account, your information was likely taken as part of this hack.
What Happened with the Leak?
The leak has exposed the information of upwards of 750 million LinkedIn accounts. This information may include:
- Email Addresses
- Full names
- Phone numbers
- Physical addresses
- Geolocation records
- Possible salary ranges
- LinkedIn username and profile URL
- Personal and professional experience/background
- Other social media accounts and usernames
As shown, this leak might range from basic names to some extremely sensitive information, and if we assume that this information has been leaked for 750 million accounts, then we can be confident that almost every accounts' security has been compromised.
While the hacker's methods aren't 100% obvious, it's thought that they used a similar method to the hack in April of this year.
Controversially, LinkedIn is actually denying the leak happened, despite the fact that a sample of the leaked data was posted and verified online.
How Should You Respond?
The worst part about leaks like this is that once it's done, it's done. Short of the company (in this case LinkedIn) paying ransom for the leaked data to be destroyed, there's not much anyone can do to stop bad things from happening.
But what measures can you take to minimize the damage? Firstly, if you have a LinkedIn account, you need to assume you were hit by this hack. 92% of users is practically the entire website, so odds are, you're a victim.
Change what you can to make sure that the leaked data is obsolete. While some things can't be easily changed, like your phone number or address, things like usernames and passwords can be changed within five minutes, and can make sure you don't fall victim to a more targeted attack in the near future.
Secondly, be wary of any strange calls or emails you get over the coming month. Many times, lists of harvested emails and phone numbers will be sold to spam companies, so it's possible that if you're a victim of this leak, you'll be receiving a couple of odd calls from someone posing to be the IRS or something.
While this hack is unfortunate, what's happened has happened, so all you can do is stay vigilant and try to reduce the damage it does to your daily life. If you're changing your password but don't want to have to rely on writing it down or memorizing it, check out our favorite password managers, which can help you stay on top of all your various account information, under tight security.
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