Last week professional social networking website LinkedIn confirmed that as many as six million of its users’ passwords had been leaked.
The passwords, which were stored in encrypted form, were reportedly accessed by hackers. They have now been posted on the internet, with the hackers inviting others to assist with their decryption.
What do I need to do?
LinkedIn users are being advised to change their passwords immediately. The site has assured users that the compromised passwords will no longer be valid, but it is important that you reset your login details now.
Users should receive an automated email explaining how to reset their password. Note that you will no longer be able to access your account with your current password; you need to reset it before you will be able to log in again.
You will then receive a second email from LinkedIn with further information about the situation.
What about other services?
It is very common for web users to keep the same password across a number of different services. You may, for example, be using the same password for your LinkedIn account as for your email, or even for your online banking.
In these cases it is imperative that you also update all of the services on which you use that password. Ideally you should keep a different password for each online service, in order to minimise the overall risk in the event that one is compromised.
Read more on the LinkedIn blog.