CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Professional networking sites, such as LinkedIn, offer a great way to showcase your skills, share information, and make connections with others. Many LinkedIn accounts grew fast with the bad economy. This makes sense – networking is more important than ever. But, how well do you really know the person you are sharing information with or tying your good name to?
WBTV's Cyber Expert Theresa Payton warns that there are strangers and spies among us and they use LinkedIn. She wants to you to know you might be connected to an international spy or crime ring through your contacts and not even know it!
"I am a huge fan of LinkedIn. I have connected friends to recruiters and I believe it is part of a process that helps people find their next job. But the larger your list of contacts grow, the harder it is to know in depth who they are, much less who they are connected to," Payton said.
She recommends people use news events to remind them to check their LinkedIn profile. If someone has been convicted of a high profile scam do a quick search of your LinkedIn profile.
Your network becomes part of your online reputation. It is important that you actively manage your online connections.
How to Protect Your Network – Theresa has 4 tips that take less than 5 minutes:
7 TIPS FOR THOSE THAT ARE JUST GETTING STARTED BUILDING THEIR NETWORK OF LINKEDIN CONTACTS:
TESTING YOUR LINKEDIN PROFILE:
If you want to test out your LinkedIn Profile, you can look for the following Russian Spies:
Donald Heathfield, CEO Future Map
Tracey Foley, Field Agent at Redfin Corp.
Anna Chapman, Founder of Domdot
Mikhail Semenko, China and Latin America Manager at Travel All Russia LLC
Cynthia Murphy, VP at Morea Financial Services
TRACKING BENEFITS & SAFETY ISSUES:
There are many sites that track the benefits of using LinkedIn and the current safety challenges. We have highlighted a few of them here:
For a recap of how the spies used social media look at Mashable and LooseWireBlog: