CEOs beware: there are perils to sharing your LinkedIn password!

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Thou shalt not share your LinkedIn password with your colleagues at work, unless you are happy to face the prospects of having your account hacked and stolen right under your nose.

A New York court recently ruled that an employer did stay within the legal realm when it hijacked the previous CEO’s LinkedIn account after booting her out of the company.

After being fired by the company she founded, Linda Eagle learned to her horror that not only her LinkedIn account had been compromised but her picture and name had been replaced by those of her successor.

Eagle had made the fatal mistake of entrusting he personal assistant with her LinkedIn password, in an effort to streamline the management of new contacts and personal updates on her LinkedIn profile. Much to her dismay, her trust in handling private and confidential information was misplaced and all her contact information has now been lost to her former employer.

When she sued Edcomm for reputational damage and loss of income opportunities, the court upheld the company’s decision — much to the disgust of millions of LinkedIn users. This unprecedented ruling by a court of law has truly opened a pandora’s box of controversy, as companies can now lay claim to the social media accounts of their employees in an effort to repossess the intellectual property of many years of networking and B2B relationship building. If this ruling is upheld (as Linda is likely to appeal), the implications could usher in a new era of social networking — no longer will the employee be able to safeguard their personal networking information but employers would be able to stipulate draconian rules of intellectual property ring-fencing in their employment contracts.

The moral of this ruling is simple: Do NOT ever, and ever again, share your LinkedIn password with anybody – no matter what!



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