Three months ago I wrote LinkedIn Maintenance: Do This Right Now (or else), strongly encouraging you to back up your network (export connections in Linkedin) and download your profile as a PDF. I got 49 comments on that post, and a bunch of bloggers shared it. I didn’t mean to use a scare tactic, as I think those are generally lame, but the story about Susan Ireland’s account getting deleted (or, becoming inaccessible) by LinkedIn is a reality that most LinkedIn users won’t want to face.
Today I want to present Part II of LinkedIn Maintenance (or else) to you. If you don’t do this when you read my blog post, don’t call me asking to help you – because I won’t be able to. First, the story:
I got a desperate email and few voice mails, and then finally connected on the phone with a recruiter. This is someone who has read me, known about me, heard from me, etc. for over a year. She was practically in tears, and clearly distraught. She had built her LinkedIn network to over 1,500 connections, and used it religiously in her work as a recruiter.
Can you imagine taking all the time and making all the effort to build a network that big, and using LinkedIn on a daily basis as she did her job? LinkedIn is to her what a hammer is to a carpenter. Critical.
She ended up leaving her employer. And shortly after, probably within 24 hours, her LinkedIn account was… GONE.
Wait, it wasn’t totally gone. This is scarier than “gone.” From what I understand, here’s what happened:
Her boss must have done a “forgot password.” Since her primary, and ONLY email address on her account, was the corporate email account he provided her, which he now had COMPLETE control over, he was able to login as her.
And he changed her LinkedIn password.
And he changed her vanity URL (from her name to his name).
And he changed the name (the one at the very top of your Profile).
It looked 100% like HIS account. But there were two problems:
- All of the 1,500 connections were connected to this new, bogus, fraudulent account. Sounds like a HUGE breach of privacy/security to me. And embarrassing and disrespectful to the lady, who had built the relationships. Not to mention the complete disrespect for each of her LinkedIn connections.
- All of the recommendations had HER name, not his. He couldn’t change that. If I happened upon the Profile I would have guessed it was a bug in LinkedIn.
But it wasn’t a bug. It was a fraudulent situation. I said, “YOU DIDN’T READ MY BOOK!” Because in my book I say, MAKE SURE the primary email address is one that you will have 100% complete control over, like a gmail account, or Yahoo, or AOL, or Hotmail, or something like that. The second address in your account can be your employer’s address, but it should NEVER be your primary address. NEVER!
That’s it… no more story, no more writing about this. GO NOW to your LinkedIn Profile, click on Account & Settings, then on the right click on Email Addresses, and the rest should be obvious.
Please, go do this NOW.