You need to change your LinkedIn password today to protect your personal security. Here’s why, and how to change your LinkedIn password. Plus: how to add two-step verification to LinkedIn for an extra layer of security. Also see: Best free antivirus 2016

LinkedIn has admitted that 117 million passwords have been breached and are now being sold on the black market. Also see: What is the Dark Web?

Originally thought to be a much smaller hack, in which 6.5 million passwords were stolen four years ago, the company this week admitted the hack was on a much wider scale.

If you are a LinkedIn user, there’s no surefire way of knowing whether your account was one of those hacked, so our advice is to change your password anyway. Also change your password for any other personal accounts that use the same login credentials. Also see: How to change your Gmail, Hotmail or Yahoo password.

Update 26 May 2016: LinkedIn has now sent out emails to potentially affected users, stating that: "On May 17 2016 we became aware that data stolen from LinkedIn in 2012 was being made available online. This was not a new security breach or hack. We took immediate steps to invalidate the passwords of all LinkedIn accounts that we believed might be at risk. These were accounts created prior to the 2012 breach that had not reset their passwords since that breach."

LinkedIn says it has invalidated passwords for all accounts created prior to the breaxh, is dealing with law-enforcement agencies over the matter, and is using tools to identify any suspicious behaviour to do with user accounts. However, it recommends all users enable two-step verification (outline below), and change their passwords for any other online accounts for which they use the same login details. 

How to change your LinkedIn password on a phone or tablet

• Launch the LinkedIn mobile app

• Tap on the profile icon at the top right of the screen

• Tap the cog icon above your profile picture

• On the Account tab choose Change password

• Type your old password, then your new password, then enter the new password again to confirm it is correct

• Hit Save

How to change your LinkedIn password on a PC or laptop

• Launch your web browser and head to LinkedIn.com

• Sign in

• Hold your mouse cursor over your profile picture at the top right of the screen to bring up several options

• Select Manage next to Privacy & settings

• Under Basics select Change password

• Type your old password, then your new password, then enter the new password again to confirm it is correct

• Tick the box to sign you out of all sessions

• Hit Save

How to add two-step verification to LinkedIn

• On a PC or laptop launch a browser and sign into LinkedIn.com

• Hold your mouse cursor over your profile picture at the top right of the screen to bring up several options

• Select Manage next to Privacy & settings

• You will need to have a phone number associated with your account. On the Basics tab click Phone numbers, then Add phone number

• Select your country, enter your phone number and click Send code. You will be prompted to enter your password

• Enter the code you receive on your phone and click Verify

• Now select the Privacy tab

• Scroll down to the bottom of the screen to Security and select Change next to Two-step verification

• Select Turn on and enter your password

• Enter the code you receive on your phone and click Verify

• The next time you try to log into LinkedIn using a browser you will be sent a code that you will need to enter and click Verify

Read next: How to create a strong password.

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