This morning tens of thousands of people received LinkedIn connection requests from John Sculley, former CEO of Apple. However, these request weren’t actually from John Sculley, but rather a fake account pretending to be him. LinkedIn users are accepting these requests at a current rate of about 4 per minute, unaware that this account isn’t actually the former CEO of Apple.
The article goes on to point out just how frighteningly easy it is to game LinkedIn and acquire your personal information, and offers some sound advice:
Whenever you get an invite from someone so famous that you wonder how they would know you (such as John Sculley), you should always be suspicious. Unless you know the person, or you yourself are suddenly famous, be wary as your privacy and security may be in jeopardy.
Thing is…this happens all the time with fake accounts from people who are NOT famous, too. If you’re concerned about spammers getting your personal info, you really shouldn’t be connecting with anybody and everybody. If you don’t know them personally, you have no idea what their ulterior motives might be.
I’m not saying you shouldn’t be an open networker (LION) — just realize that there’s an increased risk of some of your personal information getting out there. Is the risk worth the reward? Also, you might want to look at what contact information you share. Whatever you put in is visible to ALL your connections. Do you really want your email, Skype, and physical address visible to everyone you’re connected to?
Me — my life’s an open book. I figure all that info is publicly available to anyone who wants it badly enough. And once the cat’s out of the bag, it’s pretty much impossible to get it back in. But if you’re concerned, and your data’s not already out there all over the place, you might want to edit your contact info on your profile and be at least a little more selective about who you connect with.