How has this happened & how does it affect me?
Well, it has happened because somebody hacked the LinkedIn network and accessed details to over 6 million users details. LinkedIn has over 150million users, so the vast majority of users are unaffected. Those affected have been contacted by LinkedIn and asked to create a different password.
This will surely harm LinkedIn's reputation and concern the operators of social networking sites, such as Facebook across the world. With so many people using social networking and also sharing personal information on the social networking sites, how can this type of attack be protected against?
It can be difficult to protect against these types of attacks because as technology advances, so does the hackers ways of getting around the new advance. Every security measure needs to be relatively practical also. Most online banking already has password login and a device that generates a specific number before you can gain access to your account, but it is really not feasible to carry one of these around for every application you have to login for and most people wouldn't do it.
So the first step is for users not to use the same password for every site or login required. For example don't have the same password for Facebook as your online banking login. If you find yourself in a LinkedIn type of password breach in the future, then all your password and login details would be compromised.
Secondly, change you passwords often, maybe once a month for each account. Keep your passwords offline. Don't create a notepad list of all your passwords, or store them anywhere on you PC or laptop, this will enable hackers a free access to all your accounts by breaching your security. If you need to keep a list, have a simple pen and paper list. Just make sure you don't write you banking passwords down, similar to the way that you should memorise your card pin number and not write it down.
Don't fall victim to phishing scams. Predictably bogus emails have been sent to LinkedIn users claiming to be from their bank or credit card company asking for them to reset their password. If in doubt call your bank (not on a number given in the email) and double check what you need to do. Never give ANYONE your password details or email it to anyone who contacts you.
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