Yesterday, LinkedIn, the World’s Largest Professional Network learned a hefty number of their 150+ million members – more than 6 million member passwords were stolen – and uploaded to some hacker forum in Russia where the passwords of LinkedIn members were further compromised.

LinkedIn shared their status via Twitter.

Vincenete Silveira of LinkedIn took to the LinkedIn blog to urge members to immediately change passwords and to use other account security best practices.

Silveira also urged LinkedIn Users follow these privacy best practices and account security tips:

Change Your Password

  • Never change your password by following a link in an email, since those links might be compromised and redirect you to the wrong place.
  • You can change your password from the LinkedIn Settings page.
  • If you don’t remember your password, you can get password help by clicking on the Forgot password? link on the Sign in page.
  • In order for passwords to be effective, you should aim to update your online account passwords every few months or at least once a quarter.

Create a Strong Password

  • Variety – Don’t use the same password on all the sites you visit.
  • Don’t use a word from the dictionary.
  • Length – Select strong passwords that can’t easily be guessed with 10 or more characters.
  • Think of a meaningful phrase, song or quote and turn it into a complex password using the first letter of each word.
  • Complexity – Randomly add capital letters, punctuation or symbols.
  • Substitute numbers for letters that look similar (for example, substitute “0″ for “o” or “3″ for “E”.
  • Never give your password to others or write it down.

A few other account security and privacy best practices to keep in mind are:

  • Sign out of your account after you use a publicly shared computer.
  • Manage your account information and privacy settings from the Profile and Account sections of your Settings page.
  • Keep your antivirus software up to date.
  • Don’t put your email address, address or phone number in your profile’s Summary.
  • Only connect to people you know and trust.
  • Report any privacy issues to Customer Service.

Later, Silveira issued this update:

Damage Control

While LinkedIn did move to “grab the bull by the horns” this massive security breach has left LinkedIn members shaken and  unnerved in light of password security concerns at LinkedIn.

Reputation Sullied?

Nothing is sacred when it comes to cybercrime – a painful lesson LinkedIn leadership, their members and the digital world have learned as a result of millions of compromised passwords. Cyber threats are real, dynamic, global intrusions that at times, boggle the minds of the most experienced cyber security experts.

Almost 24 hours have passed since LinkedIn last tweeted or updated their blog…and for many…too much time has elapsed under the circumstances. When a crisis of this magnitude hits home, more communications might soothe fears of those who have no way of knowing if they are among those impacted by this data breach.

In the meantime, you may want to read LinkendIn’s Privacy Policy  and learn more about the way they handle your private information. No official press release has been made about this matter, leaving room for LinkedIn’s reputation to buckle further.

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