Look before you leap? Sure, but in these days of security risks and cyberattacks, it’s more important than ever to think before you link.
Catchy phrasing aside, the threat for LinkedIn users is very real, according to the United Kingdom’s MI5 security service.
Over the past five years, the BBC says, more than 10,000 UK citizens have been categorized as potential scam victims, at risk of sharing sensitive data via the popular Microsoft-owned networking platform.
The BBC report references MI5 chief Ken McCallum, who defined the concern as occurring on “an industrial scale.”
The dangers, as reported in a Fox Business story, include the risk of becoming linked to “malicious profiles run by hostile states or organized crime organizations and that you could possibly harm national security … .”
What can LinkedIn users do to avoid such a fate?
Be careful of all connection requests because they may be coming from fake LinkedIn profiles. If a user has accepted such an invitation, they may already have been victimized by sharing personal information.
The MI5 warnings include watching out for profile requests from would-be recruiters or talent agents using phrasing such as “enticing opportunities,” according to the UK’s Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure (CPNI).
And that’s where “Think Before You Link” comes in: The CPNI is running a campaign with that name.
A “Think Before You Link” video provides an example:
“We’d be grateful if you’d agree to be our keynote speaker at our prestigious conference,” according to the video. “We can offer you an attractive fee and all expenses will be paid. Just accept my request and connect and I’ll tell you more.”
The CPNI advises users to tell a cybersecurity manager about suspicious activity and remove the profile so colleagues aren’t at risk.