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10 Worst Things a Hacker Could Do to Your LinkedIn Profile

We’ve all heard by now that some 6.5 million LinkedIn passwords were stolen earlier today through a security breach in LinkedIn’s mobile app.

That means someone out there has access to millions of accounts representing millions of job seekers throughout the US and, ostensibly, the world.

Given that there’s almost zero hiring going on, in some respects this hardly matters. Which is perhaps why Wall Street barely shrugged when it got wind of the story early this morning.

On the other hand, if you’re in an active job search and there are employers looking at your profile, here are some reasons why you should be worried.

  1. Your profile picture could be changed to look something like this.  If this is an improvement over the previous photo, no need to be concerned. You weren’t going to be hired anyway. If not, you might want to consider changing your password and regaining control of your account.
  2. Your current position could be changed from, say, “CEO of JP Morgan” to, I don’t know, maybe “Guy Who Took All Your Cash and Married You to the Collection Agency” or something like that. In this case changing your password is optional.
  3. Your location could be changed. For example, instead of saying “San Francisco Bay Area” it could be changed to The Pink Poodle or even San Quentin Penitentiary. Depending on whether this is the case, change your password.
  4. Your status update could be changed from your latest blog post to “The World’s Most Funny Dog Video,” which by the way is more about stupid people than hilarious pets.
  5. Your list of past jobs could be changed. For example instead of being a rocket scientist at Lockheed, you could now be listed as having worked at Jiffy Lube for the past 25 years.
  6. Your education status could be changed. Instead of having a Ph.D. in electrical engineering from Berkeley, you could be listed as a graduate of the Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Clown College.  Which isn’t really a bad thing…just different. We love diversity. Clowns, not so much.
  7. Your recommendations could be changed. This is where things could get kinda messy. For instance, a hacker may decide to change a legitimate recommendation from saying, for example, “Bob was my number one sales guy” to “Bob was the finest janitor our ballpark ever hired.” Or, they could get sneaky and add totally new “recommendations” like, “Bob was the best customer I ever had. If I said that will cost $20, he always gave me a  $5 tip at the end. So to speak. – Signed, Suzie Streetwalker”
  8. Your website could be changed from the company you own to a different one, for example, the adult action game “Saints Row The Third” … which, if you are a game developer or a marketer, might not be so bad.
  9. Your Twitter handle could be switched from your own to @NickiMinaj. If you’re not a big fan of rap music or outrageous costumes, this could be embarrassing.
  10. Finally, and most importantly, there’s that rare chance that a former employer might actually mistake you for someone stupid enough to be on his team. If that’s the case, you could talk him into rehiring you – in which case you both get what  you asked for – or you have the delicious opportunity to tell him once again what a flaming ass he is.

We still think you should change your password, though.

One comment on “10 Worst Things a Hacker Could Do to Your LinkedIn Profile

  1. Pingback: SiliconCowboy’s Best Blog Posts of 2012 « Siliconcowboy's Blog

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This entry was posted on June 6, 2012 by in Art of Communication.
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