THE STORY – Today a client of mine was in state of panic as his LinkedIn account had recently been hacked and it had gibberish all over it. It was completely unreadable, a waste land on the internet. He had since regained control of his account but just did not have time to retype everything from scratch. This was an absolute nightmare for him. Not only was his reputation being tarnished but it would take forever to rebuild his profile. Everything would have to be retyped. He did not have a copy of his profile anywhere. Where else could this information be.
We thought of contacting LinkedIn but we knew that might take a day or two and something like this could not wait. He did have a LinkedIn Premium account. Maybe he would get feedback very quickly but he was not willing to take a chance. Already he was not able to focus on his work at all with his LinkedIn profile the complete mess it was.
What would his contacts think seeing gibberish all over his profile. Who would take him seriously?
I suddenly remembered that Google Caches your results. What is caching all about?
CACHING – Google takes a snapshot of each page it examines and caches (stores) that version as a back-up. The cached version is what Google uses to judge if a page is a good match for your query.
Practically every search result includes a Cached link. Clicking on that link takes you to the Google cached version of that web page, instead of the current version of the page. This is useful if the original page is unavailable because of:
THE LINKEDIN ACCOUNT – Back to our LinkedIn account. I did a search of my client using Google and was able to get a copy of what his LinkeIn account looked like before the hacking. We were able to get this in Text format and using the text we were able to rebuild the profile.
Here are some steps of how to get your cached LinkedIn Profile:
1) Do a Google Search of yourself
2) Preview the LinkedIn results in Google on the right hand side of screen
3) Click on CACHED within the Preview
4) You will then be taken to what that web-page looked like 2 weeks ago.
5) You also have an opportunity to get the text version of this.
By simple copying and pasting we were able to rebuild his profile in a matter of minutes. I have never done this before so you can imagine my reaction. I was more excited than him I must say. Suffice it to say that he has changed his passwords to more secure ones.
THE PROBLEM – I have established that he was basically using the same password across several accounts on the net from Email, Facebook, LinkedIn etc. This is a huge problem for obvious reasons. Access to one account means access to everything else.
What suggestion or ideas can we on how we might decrease the likelihood of having your LinkedIn Account hacked? Well check out our next article on the issue.