News broke yesterday evening that the social network for the career-minded individual had been hacked, spilling over 6 million passwords onto the internet.

Recently, a file containing 6.5 million unique hashed passwords appeared in an online forum based in Russia. More than 200,000 of these passwords have reportedly been cracked so far. – PCWorld

The article in the link above provides a pretty in-depth explanation of what happened, so there’s no point in me repeating it. Head over there for more information.

It goes without saying that if you have a LinkedIn account, change your password immediately. If your password has been compromised, LinkedIn will probably send you an email with some advice, but change your password anyway. If you login using Facebook, it may not be a bad idea to change that password too, purely as a precaution.

If you use that password for any other sites, especially ones where you may be buying things or have your debit or credit card details stored, you should consider changing those passwords too.  Better to be safe than sorry.

Unfortunately it doesn’t end there. The same hacker managed to get his hands on 1.5 million eHarmony passwords too.

So, whether you are looking for work or looking for love, there’s a good chance you’ll be looking for a new password too.

Be on the lookout for phishing scams over the next few weeks.  Opportunist miscreants are already using news of this hack to prey on concerned users.  Make sure you change your password by going to the website directly, not from an emailed link you might have received. Open a new browser window, type the linkedin or eharmony URL into the address bar and reset your password.

Affected LinkedIn users have been told they will receive instructions in an email – but not with a link – on how to change their details.

A phishing email would provide you with a link to a bogus site, either for something unrelated or a phoney site designed to fool you into handing over private information.

Be careful out there, people!