If you’re a regular LinkedIn user you may have received an email recently advising you to reset your password if you didn’t it’s important for you to do this as soon as you can read, on to find out why.

According to multiple sources a hacker has tried to sell the account information of 117 million LinkedIn user profiles online. The data includes usernames and passwords and could potentially be sold on illegally.

Changing your password at the earliest opportunity is the best way to protect your account.

Here’s how to do it:

  1. Go to the LinkedIn website.
  2. Next to the password field, click the “Forgot your password” link, and enter your email address.
  3. You’ll get an email from LinkedIn asking you to click a link that will help you reset your password.

Once you’ve reset your LinkedIn password, a confirmation email will be sent to the confirmed email addresses on your account.

It’s not the first time LinkedIn has been breached. Back in 2012 6.5million encrypted passwords were posted online, although at the time LinkedIn didn’t confirm the full extent of the leak. It is believed that the data for sale now is from the 2012 hack therefore if you have changed password since then you may well be protected although it is still advised to update.

These types of hack seem to be on the increase in a world where personal data can be exploited for financial gain. Therefore it may be a good time to review your online account security by following these quick tips:

1. Update your passwords periodically

The best way to foil the hackers is to change your password regularly that way should a breach occur you may already be one step ahead.

2. Don’t use the same password for all your accounts

Most accounts now can be logged in in using either a username or an email address therefore if a breach occurs on a site where your email data is leaked along with password that’s been used for another account you may have inadvertently exposed other accounts that will be fair game for hackers.

3. Don’t make your passwords too easy to guess

Passwords can be difficult to maintain but don’t make it easy for someone to guess by making your password too easy. Using the company name, your dog’s name or your football that you’re always talking about as your password, it’s too easy. NEVER EVER use “password” as your password.

4. Use a passphrase

If you struggle to remember passwords then create a memorable passphrase – a short sentence. Replacing letters with numbers and using caps and syntax symbols make passwords exponentially more difficult to guess. We’ve all seen the password strength indicator don’t leave yours in the easy zone.

5. Enable 2 factor authentication

Many accounts now particularly in banking and now use 2 step authentication to log into an account. An extra layer of security is added by sending generating a dynamic passcode to a verified device like a smartphone via sms or an app which is time sensitive and used in conjunction with a password making it extremely difficult for hackers to gain both pieces of information without physically obtaining the device.

6. Update your security questions and contact information

Don’t get locked out of your account by not having up to date contact information, Make sure a second email address, phone number are up to date should you forget your password also make sure your security questions are memorable.

7. Close dormant accounts

If you have an old unused account particularly ones that contain financial information and have no intention of using again, reduce your risk of being exposed by taking five minutes to close the account, you can always signup again should you change your mind.

We hope these tips help you with your account housekeeping if you have any further questions, get in touch