Two months ago, I lost access to LinkedIn. To help you go through the recovery security procedure smoothly in the future, if this ever happens to you, please find below some best practices and things I learned during that week of professional digital fasting. I hope it will be helpful to you or others, so feel free to share!
Has your account been taken down or restricted?
You might wake up one day trying to keep up to date with the news from the world on LinkedIn and being logged out from the platform. LinkedIn might have restricted your account, which can happen for multiple reasons. Your account can be taken down or "restricted" in LinkedIn's terminology. In essence, what will happen is that you will disappear entirely from that side of the world (profile, feed, groups, and private messages). Thank you, Thanos!
This can shock you but can be linked to multiple potential root causes that you control or not, such as content violation, profile violation, identity violation, and usage of automated tools (like profile scraping tools). You will find more information from LinkedIn here: Account restrictions | LinkedIn Help (whether or not you still have access to your account).
Key learnings from that experience
- 🌍 Whatever happens, it is not the world’s end! So try to keep calm.
- 🤖 There will always be somebody trying to get into your account.
- ✅ Inform your boss or colleagues to avoid any collateral damages.
Some tips to secure things
- 💾 Create frequent LinkedIn backups https://lnkd.in/dF5cCBqB
- 🖥️ Make screenshots of your profile if needed for visual guidance.
- 🛡️ Install the MFA on an App to protect yourself from SIM swapping.
Verify your identity to remove the restriction.
If you are there, to unlock this restriction, LinkedIn will ask you first to verify your identity. To successfully prove your ID, you'll need to take a picture of your ID or have a picture of your ID ready to upload. Be sure that your photo, first name, last name, date of birth, and document expiration date are clear and legible.
If you completed the step above, you will receive an email from firstname.lastname@example.org
“… If you can’t log in to your account, you won’t be able to check the status of your case. We ask that you don’t create additional cases in the meantime.
If you can log in to your account, you can check the status of your case on the LinkedIn Help Center Your cases page: https://www.linkedin.com/help/linkedin/cases …”
Please be aware that your verification may be rejected if you upload the following:
- Images of an invalid or expired driver's license, passport, or ID not government-issued(i.e., school, work ID).
- Blurry photos or photos with obstructions (i.e., fingers, objects, etc.).
- Photocopies of your ID card, driver's license, or passport.
- A non-ID image (you at a concert, for instance).
As you saw above, you will be asked not to create more tickets, but the temptation is high after a few days of frustration (believe me). Here is an entire article: Verify your identity to recover account access | LinkedIn Help.
Use Twitter as a "Bottle at Sea"
During this challenging period, if you realize that nothing is moving forward, you can also worst case scenario, contact the LinkedIn Twitter X support LinkedIn Help (@LinkedInHelp) / X (twitter.com). But please be aware that this Twitter X account might not be actively monitored on their end anymore.
You will never know why precisely.
Most digital products nowadays will email you that they detected an unusual login from a new geolocation. It seems to be the case now, too, for LinkedIn, but for some strange reasons, despite the event’s gravity, you will never be provided with details on what happened, who did what… This is unless you start a legal action or are a law enforcement agent. In that case, you can start to have a look at the three links below:
We often take things for granted when it is not necessarily the case. Now with some of those tips, you can better protect your profile, network, and potentially a lifetime achievement of recommendations. There is no doubt you already have a strong password for your account, so now is the time to confirm in the comments below that you have performed the three steps from the list above. So, stop scrolling, be cyber-smart, and act!
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