The whole point of LinkedIn is to connect to others in a professional or career-related capacity, but like other social networks, LinkedIn is also a place where criminals try to gain access to information about you and those you know.
Photo by Nan Palmero.
Inc. offers some advice on how to quickly spot fake LinkedIn accounts so you don’t mistakenly accept connections from them. In addition to looking out for stock or stolen profile photos, the article advises looking for connections in common:
Fake people are likely not going to have many connections in common with you, and there usually won’t be many secondary connections either. Sure, some of your connections may have fallen for the scam and connected with the fake person (that may be how the fake person found out about you in the first place), but the number of shared connections is likely going to be relatively small.
This is probably good advice for Facebook and other social networks as well. If you have a completely public LinkedIn profile, you likely don’t have to worry, since your information is already out there, but if you reserve some details in your profile or activity only for your connections, pay attention to whom you connect with.