How to protect your LinkedIn account from hackers with two-step verification (2SV)

If you’re serious about protecting your online accounts, you will enable 2SV.

David bisson
David Bisson

How to enable 2SV on LinkedIn

In the wake of recent revelations about the 2012 LinkedIn data breach, many users would be wise to consider not just ensuring that they are using a unique, hard-to-crack password for their LinkedIn account – but also that they have enabled two-step verification (2SV).

Two-step verification provides an additional layer of security for your online accounts – meaning a hacker needs more than just your username (which is often your email address) and password to access an account. They also need a one-time verification code, that was perhaps sent to the genuine account owner via an SMS message or phone call.

2SV doesn’t necessarily make it impossible for hackers to break into your account, but it certainly makes it more complicated – and as a result, hackers may simply spend their efforts breaking into the accounts of users who had not enabled the additional level of security.

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This is why we have detailed how to enable 2SV for a number of different websites including Google, Apple, Yahoo, PayPal, Amazon, Dropbox, Twitter and Facebook.

In this article series, I will show you how you can implement 2SV on your LinkedIn account.

1. Sign into your LinkedIn account using a web browser.

2. On the homepage, you will see a picture of yourself (or a black and white image of a faceless individual) at the top right corner. Hover your cursor over that image.

A menu labeled “Account & Settings” will drop down from that icon. You can use this menu to sign out, upgrade your account, access LinkedIn’s Help Center, or manage your profile’s privacy and settings. The lattermost option is the one you want. Move your cursor down the menu and click on the “Privacy and Settings” option.

Linkedin 1

3. You will be redirected to your Account homepage, where you can add email addresses and phone numbers, change your password, and access additional features.

Near the middle of the page, you will see three clickable tabs: “Account,” “Privacy,” and “Communications.” The “Account” tab should be highlighted. Move your cursor over and click on the “Privacy” tab.

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4. Scroll down to the very bottom of your privacy settings page. There you will see a “Security” section with a single clickable option: “Two-step verification.” This feature should be labeled “Off.” Click on this feature to begin the process of enabling 2sv on your account.

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5. LinkedIn will prompt you to register a mobile phone number so that you can activate 2SV. Click on the “Add a phone number” option that will automatically appear in the “Security” section under “Two-step verification.”

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6. You will automatically be redirected back to your “Account” page and to the “Phone numbers” feature under the “Basics” section. There, enter in your mobile phone number in the provided text field and click the blue “Send code” button.

Linkedin 5

7. LinkedIn will prompt you to enter in your password to make that change. Do so and hit the “Done” button.

8. LinkedIn will then notify you it has sent a verification code to your mobile device. Enter that code into the provided text field and click the “Verify” button.

9. With your mobile phone number now registered, repeat steps 3 and 4.

10. In the “Security” section of your privacy settings page, LinkedIn will explain how turning on 2SV will affect your account in the future. Read that explanation carefully. When you fully understand it, click on the “Turn on” hyperlinked text.

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11. Once again, LinkedIn will prompt you to enter in your password. Do so and hit the “Done” button.

12. LinkedIn will then send another code to your mobile phone. As you did in step 8, enter that verification code into the provided text field and click “Verify.”

13. And you’re done! You will see your phone number saved under “Two-step verification” feature, which will be labeled “On.”

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Now every time you log into your account, you will see this page after entering in your username and password.

Linkedin 8

Simply enter in the verification code sent to your mobile phone, and you will automatically be redirected to Linkedin’s home page.

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David Bisson is an infosec news junkie and security journalist. He works as Contributing Editor for Graham Cluley Security News and Associate Editor for Tripwire's "The State of Security" blog.

3 comments on “How to protect your LinkedIn account from hackers with two-step verification (2SV)”

  1. M Dearlove

    Hi Graham, I turned this feature on and the webpage did prompt a text to login. BUT the app failed to login or generate a text. It basically produced an error page. So I had to turn off 2SV for the LI app to work again on Android.

  2. M Dearlove

    *HOT NEWS* – After logging a call with LinkedIn and following the tech help. Remove the app and reinstall the app on Android it works fine now. So either something has changed at their end over the 24 hours or the old "Have you tried removing the app and reinstalling it line' worked :-P

    1. al45cdo · in reply to M Dearlove

      Cheers I uninstalled and reinstalled in it worked for me as well.

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