Protecting Your Identity
It's become commonplace to share personal data - like your social security number, credit card number, or date of birth - to do everything from shopping to banking. Check out some simple steps you can take to protect your identity.
What can I do to protect my online identity?
There are some simple tips you can use in order to protect your personal information from possible identity thieves:
- Stay vigilant - never give out your sensitive information if you feel something isn't right.
- Have a general level of caution when approaching all email messages and websites:
- Email isn't a very secure channel to send sensitive information back and forth, so it's a good practice not to do so. It's much better to go directly to the website, if you have an existing relationship with the company, and enter your information from there.
- When entering personal information on a website, it's also a good idea to check the browser bar for a secure connection. If you see https:// in the browser's address bar, it's a good indication the connection is protected.
- For LinkedIn messages, there are a few things you can look for to confirm whether a message is really from us or not:
- LinkedIn focuses on your professional brand, so if you receive an email claiming to be from LinkedIn asking for information relating to your bank or financial information, be very cautious.
- Valid LinkedIn messages will always be addressed to you personally by including your name and current professional headline in the footer of the message.
- Create a strong password for your account using the tips below:
- Don't use the same password for all the sites you visit.
- Don't use a word from the dictionary.
- Select strong passwords that can't easily be guessed with 10 or more characters.
- Think of a meaningful phrase, song, or quote and turn it into a complex password using the first letter of each word.
- Randomly add capital letters, punctuation, or symbols.
- Substitute numbers for letters that look similar. For example, substitute "0" for "o" or "3" for "E".
- Never write down your password or give it to others.
How can I protect my email address?
While most of us don't protect our email addresses the same way we protect our social security number or passwords, it's still important to treat this as valuable piece of personal information. This is especially true for those sites where your email address is used as part of your username to log in to your account. Another good reason to be protective of your email address is to deflect spam.
Do not enter your email address in the name fields of your account since this field can appear in public searches and be viewed by anyone. It's best to only include your personal contact information in the designated fields in your profile which can only viewed by first degree connections.
Connecting with other members on LinkedIn
We highly recommend that you only connect with other professionals who you know and trust enough to share your personal email address. We discourage connecting to anonymous profiles using group or company names. LinkedIn profiles are intended to be used by individuals only, and profiles should only be created using true first and last names. Disclosing your email address to an anonymous group of people may increase the odds for unwanted messaging. You also always have the option of removing a connection at any time.
If there is a company you are interested in, we recommend that you follow them via our Company Pages feature. This way, you can follow any company you like without having to disclose your personal email address.
What if I've found an account that is impersonating me?
In many cases, members accidentally open a duplicate account for themselves when they accept an invitation to connect while using an email address that's not currently listed on their account (learn how to check for a duplicate account). However, if you're certain that this is not a duplicate account for you, please report the profile for further investigation by our Trust & Safety team.
How can I report a potentially fake or inappropriate account to LinkedIn?
Learn how to flag fake or inappropriate profiles on LinkedIn.