By: Andrew Edwards
In the past, phishing scams have been perceived as a threat to one’s email inbox. We’ve all seen these kinds of emails before: a mysterious looking email address, several misspelled words, strange language, and maybe someone asking you to purchase something, like a few gift cards. At this point, many of us feel confident enough to be able to identify an email phishing attempt and not fall for such a scam. However, phishing scams are starting to take on a new form…
A couple of weeks ago, one of our very own employees received a suspicious LinkedIn message from a familiar business partner. The message claimed that they were working on a “confidential project” and were reaching out for our employee’s help. A link was provided in the message to access a document on OneDrive which they claimed to be a “proposal”.
After receiving the LinkedIn message and realizing that it was both strange in tone and subject matter, our employee reached out to the business partner to confirm that the message was legitimate. The business partner then reached back out to inform him that his LinkedIn account had been in fact, hacked.
If our employee hadn’t questioned the suspicious message, and instead decided out of curiosity to click on the link that was provided in the phishing scam, there’s a decent chance his credentials would have been stolen in that moment. So, what can we do to prevent something like this happening in the future?
There are a couple of precautions you can take! First off, to increase the likelihood that your LinkedIn Account does NOT get hacked, you can enable Two-factor Authentication in your LinkedIn settings. This will require you to use both your computer and cell phone every time you log in.
It is also a good idea to not accept a Linkedin connection request from somebody you do not know. There are a ton of fake accounts on LinkedIn (just like any other social platform), and it’s probably best to not connect with somebody if you are not familiar with them or if you don’t have any common connections.
Be careful what kind of information you are sharing on your Linkedin profile. Information like a phone number, home address, or other unnecessary personal details could eventually be leveraged against you by hackers in a phishing scam, in an attempt to gain your trust and steal your credentials.
Frequently change your password. At the very least, change your password every 90 days to bet against the bad guys being able to recover your most recent password.
Finally, NEVER CLICK THE LINK! If you are even remotely suspicious about a LinkedIn message you received from a business partner, friend, or anybody else, check-in with them first to confirm the message is legitimate.
The bad guys are always finding new ways to try and steal information. However, as long as you stay alert, make any necessary changes to your LinkedIn profile and settings, and are wary of the tell-tale signs of phishing on LinkedIn, you’ll have done yourself a great deed in keeping your information secure.
A recent graduate of the University of Georgia, Andrew joins the Network 1 team in 2019 as a key member of the Sales and Marketing Team. Andrew earned a Certificate in New Media during his time at UGA where he was able to hone in on his creative abilities, which he now deploys within Network 1’s marketing efforts.
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Network 1 Consulting is a 21-year-old, IT Support company in Atlanta, GA. We become – or augment – the IT department for law firms and medical practices. Our IT experts can fix computers – but what our clients value most are the industry-specific best practices we bring to their firms. This is especially important with technology, along with regulations and cyber threats, changing so rapidly. We take a proactive approach to helping our clients use technology to gain and keep their competitive advantage.