There are so many scams happening at any given moment that sometimes it’s hard to figure which ones you need to be worried about, and which ones aren’t a problem. The problem with recent scams is that they actually build off of previous security breaches to craft scam e-mails that are almost indistinguishable from the real thing.
Way back in 2012 there was a data breach of LinkedIn, where 6.5 million user account passwords were posted online. This was just the tip of the iceberg, however. While 6.5 million passwords were posted, 117 million emails and passwords were stolen in total and recently became available for purchase on the dark net.
Obviously, this is a huge security issue. LinkedIn has been taking the situation seriously by reaching out to users who have been affected by the security breach and asking them to change their passwords.
However, LinkedIn isn’t the only one sending these e-mails.
Cyber-criminals jumped at the opportunity created by the confusion and worry related to this leak. Scammers have created multiple e-mail hoaxes supposedly sent by LinkedIn asking users to follow a link to reset their password.
Of course, the link doesn’t actually take the user to LinkedIn. Instead, this phishing scam gives scammers more opportunity to collect passwords and other personal information from other users.
So, what is the best way to stay safe from this scam and others like it?
Firstly, always be cautious when opening links in e-mails. The best thing to do is to hover over the links and make sure that they come from a legitimate website before you click on them. Even if an e-mail looks like it has been sent by a LinkedIn e-mail, it still may not be trustworthy.
The safest thing to do, in this case and in others like it, is to only change your password directly through a website itself. By going to your LinkedIn profile directly it ensures that you aren’t following any kind of compromised link, and that you are updating your information as securely as possible.
If you want to know more about phishing scams and how to prevent them from affecting your business, discuss strategies and problem solving opportunities with your IT professional. They can help you to identify potential areas of weakness in your existing strategy, and alert you to any changes in the security of your various accounts.