LinkedIn Explains Data Scraping Amid Reports of More Data Hacks and Breaches


Over the past few months, there have been various reports of significant LinkedIn data hacks, with huge databases of user info being sold on the dark web, available to the highest bidder.

Back in April, Cyber News reported that personal data scraped from 500 million LinkedIn users was being made available for sale on various hacking forums, while just last month, another set, reportedly incorporating info from 700 million LinkedIn profiles, also became available online.

In each case, LinkedIn has denied that these indicate a breach of its security, instead pointing to ‘data scraping’ as the culprit, the (mostly legal) process of gathering publicly available info from platforms, at scale, in order to build larger data sets by incorporating that material with other sources.

As LinkedIn explained in response to the most recent reported leak:

Our teams have investigated a set of alleged LinkedIn data that has been posted for sale. We want to be clear that this is not a data breach and no private LinkedIn member data was exposed. Our initial investigation has found that this data was scraped from LinkedIn, and other various websites, and includes the same data reported earlier this year in our April 2021 scraping update.”

Yet, despite these explanations, a level of user angst remains. Which is why today, as part of its effort to provide more context on what’s actually occurred, and what it’s doing about it, LinkedIn has posted an overview of how data scraping works, and what users can do to better protect their LinkedIn profiles in future.

As per LinkedIn:

“Scraping has been around since the start of the internet, but it’s grown dramatically in scale and sophistication. Today, the scraping we hear most about is unauthorized scraping, which uses code and automated collection methods to make (up to) thousands of queries per second and evade technical blocks, in order to take data without permission. Scraped data can be gathered from multiple sites, combined, and sold in large batches, to be used for phishing and other campaigns designed to trick you into sharing private information.”

LinkedIn has been working to stop third parties from scraping its user data for years, even heading to the Supreme Court to stop one specific business from gathering public info from LinkedIn profiles for its own purposes. But that case, this far, has not gone in LinkedIn’s favor – so even if it wanted to block data scraping entirely, legally, it can’t, which, in some ways, limits its capacity for response.

A key consideration within this is how much data LinkedIn makes publicly available. LinkedIn could further limit the ways in which user info can be accessed, which would also limit scraping, but that would additionally reduce discovery in the app, in search engines, and via other means, which would restrict the broader utility of the platform.

For example, LinkedIn currently displays your name and job title for all searchers, unless you’ve made your profile private. That data is then accessible by search engines, which can help to boost discovery – so LinkedIn could further limit that, but if you ever want to be found for relevant searches, on and off platform, which is a key value proposition of the app, it needs to keep a level of that info accessible by users and search tools.

As such, in some ways, it’s stuck in between, as it works to manage how much profile data it makes publicly available, and how much it hides behind privacy settings. But within that, users do also have a choice as to how much of their personal info they make publicly accessible.

Spend some time looking at what info you’ve added, from contact details to work history, and get familiar with your settings. In addition, take a look at your public profile page, to understand what information might be public and ensure it’s exactly what you want to be viewable to search engines and other off-LinkedIn services. You can choose to limit or adjust choices if you’d like.”

LinkedIn does note that unauthorized data scraping is in breach of its terms of service, and that it has processes in place to detect, and protect, against such.

But even then, unauthorized scraping does not constitute a breach or a ‘hack’.

“Scraping does not mean an attacker has been able to get inside secure systems, subvert firewalls or access protected network information. Unauthorized scraping can mean that bad actors can collect a lot of data and use it in ways that you didn’t expect.”

LinkedIn uses bot detection tools and rate limits to restrict such activity, but the key point LinkedIn is seeking to highlight is that these reported breaches are not the result of hacking or data breaches, as such. Users can further limit their data to avoid concerns, but scraping, in some forms, will likely always exist.

LinkedIn is still pursuing a legal case against hiQ Labs over its use of LinkedIn member data, which could end up being a precedent-setting ruling that would give more power to platforms over data scraping. But the fact is that some data will always be publicly accessible, and when it is, third parties will look to use those sources to build databases that they can on-sell to marketing firms.

It’s an important technical distinction to note, and a good example of the evolving digital landscape, and how laws are still catching up in many respects.

But to be clear, these datasets are not a result of data hacking at LinkedIn, and you can limit your exposure via your own profile settings.

 

 



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Instagram Stories Drafts are Now Available to Some Users


Instagram announced that the feature was coming back in March, and now, some users are seeing the option to save their Instagram Stories as drafts within the app.

As you can see in this sequence, posted by user @WFBrother on Twitter (and shared by Matt Navarra), the option is activated when you go to exit out of the Stories composer mid-process. When you choose to save a Stories draft, a new alert notifies you that Stories drafts are deleted a week after you save them. So they won’t be there waiting for you forever, but the option does provide you with additional scope for putting together more comprehensive, crafted compositions, which you can then share at the best time for your audience.

The feature could be particularly handy for social media managers who are looking to post at optimal times – though it is also worth noting that you have kind of been able to save and share stories, in different ways, for some time.

Right now, all users can already save their Stories, by either downloading them to their device, or via some third-party apps. But those tools are not native to IG, and are generally not as convenient within your creation flow. By having your drafts within the app, you’ll be able to view them as they’ll appear to users, while you’ll also be able to utilize Instagram’s full feature set in your draft creation process, and post on the go via the app.

As noted, Instagram flagged the coming feature a few months back, with some users posting screenshots of the option since then, showing its development in progress. We’ve asked Instagram for an update on the roll out, and who, exactly, has access, and we’ll update this post if/when we hear back.

So, another way to manage your Stories creation flow, and post at optimal times to maximize engagement. It’s not a massive shift, but it could be a highly relevant one for Instagram managers looking to make best use of the app.





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Instagram Stories Drafts are Now Available to All Users


Instagram announced that the feature was coming back in March, and now, all users have the option to save their Instagram Stories as drafts within the app.

As you can see in this sequence, posted by user @WFBrother on Twitter (and shared by Matt Navarra), the option is activated when you go to exit out of the Stories composer mid-process. When you choose to save a Stories draft, a new alert will notify you that Stories drafts are deleted a week after you save them. So they won’t be there waiting for you forever, but the option does provide you with additional scope for putting together more comprehensive, crafted compositions, which you can then share at the best time for your audience.

The feature could be particularly handy for social media managers who are looking to post at optimal times – though it is also worth noting that you have kind of been able to save and share stories, in different ways, for some time.

Up till now, all users have been able to save their Stories, by either downloading them to their device, or via some third-party apps. But those tools are not native to IG, and are generally not as convenient within your creation flow. By having your drafts within the app, you’ll be able to view them as they’ll appear to users, while you’ll also be able to utilize Instagram’s full feature set in your draft creation process, and post on the go via the app.

We asked Instagram for more info on the Stories drafts roll out and it provided this statement:

“Instagram Stories drafts are now available for everyone, globally. Story drafts will save for seven days before disappearing.”

So, another way to manage your Stories creation flow, and post at optimal times to maximize engagement. It may not be a massive shift, but it could be a highly relevant one for Instagram managers looking to make best use of the app.





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Marketing Strategies Often Erode Community Trust. Here Are 3 Keys to Avoiding Common Missteps.



4 min read

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.


In 1960 you might have seen a clever, Mad Men-style advertisement in the newspaper and believed it. Some doctors said smoking was healthy, some dentists said Coca-Cola was great for children. Fact-checking was difficult and salesmanship was strong.

Years later, you found out they had lied to you. Smoking caused cancer. Sugar gave you cavities. The age of advertising was dead. Ads would still be used, but trust was damaged. The abuse was now visible.

Enter the internet, a new way to reach potential customers: digital marketing. You could simply put a physical 2D ad into a digital display format. Then came Google, Facebook and the social media ad platforms. They were interesting at first, maybe even helpful as algorithms hunted for your utmost desires. Privacy started to become an issue for consumers and again, trust was lost. Tracking went rampant. 

Next, influencer marketing hit the scene and, almost overnight, grew to nearly $14 billion in revenue in 2021. Instead of telling people directly about why your business is interesting or why someone should buy your product, have a trusted person tell their followers. The followers will trust them more than the business hyping its own wares. And then many influencers started to share products they didn’t actually use, or care about. Authenticity in a normally authentic medium was troubled. Again, trust was lost, but the lesson learned was the value of a person’s community.

Today, “the community” is now becoming the medium of choice for businesses large and small. Often this mode existed before, but outside of a company’s grasp: a forum, a subreddit, a Facebook group. But now companies are lighting up at the opportunity to provide real value to their communities, a place to gather online and offline, even monetary incentives (fiat or crypto) to deepen their involvement. It finally feels like there’s a true conversation happening between consumer’s wants and needs and the brand’s desires. But this is where it could go wrong.

Community growth is one thing, but community marketing needs to be handled delicately. Shilling your products and services to no avail will turn off your community members, and probably make them leave. Just like spam emails before, community spam will be reacted to in a similar way. Often, businesses want to cultivate a community to help them grow, but if you don’t already have a product people love or a common interest, you will fall flat.

My warning, or should I say advice, is threefold:

1. Treat your community with care. They are humans. You are human. Speak to them as such. Encourage their passions. Find ways to support them. Don’t blast them things that will not help them. Build relationships. And if you don’t know what your community wants? Ask. 

2. Foster conversations. Whether that’s one on one or via surveys, ask your community what they want to see in your product, platform or industry. Encourage feedback loops. Have clear community leaders and avenues like Slack Channels or direct messages where community members can support your common mission. Build together. Build in public. One example of this is the Community Club by Commsor, which explicitly states it will never market its platform to people in the community unless they opt in. That keeps the Slack community open for community professionals to meet and learn from each other rather than overt marketing.

3. Encourage play. Don’t forget to have fun and experiment in new or weird ways. Boring is so 2020. I often see corporate values of “Integrity, Accountability, Boldness,” but I don’t see “Enjoy Your Work” or “Have Fun On The Journey” nearly as often. Maybe business leaders feel that these slogans can be misinterpreted as “Don’t Work Hard,” but I disagree and think that company cultures that are collaborative, encourage brainstorming, team retreats, and offsite gatherings, and more human connectedness are organizations that will retain and nurture their talented employees over the years building their profiles, careers, and personal development. This point also directly affects the growing epidemic of mental health in business and pushes employers to support their teams in positive, creative, flexible and uplifting ways.

Our communities are the most valuable thing we have. They are our neighborhoods, our cities, our companies, our teams, our hobbies and our places to belong. Cherish them as you would your own. Hold mutual respect, authenticity, and trust above all else. If we do that as marketers, community professionals, executives, and startup founders, we’ll be headed down the right path. 

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Keep Your Hair Looking Great with the Best Wahl Clippers of 2021



4 min read

Disclosure: Our goal is to feature products and services that we think you’ll find interesting and useful. If you purchase them, Entrepreneur may get a small share of the revenue from the sale from our commerce partners.


Keeping your beard and hair clean-cut is key to looking professional in any work setting. Although it’s not required by most employers these days, a sharp haircut will help you earn credibility with your clients, unconscious bias be damned. Now that some of us are starting to come back to the office, there’s no reason not to do so in style. And what better way to shape up your head and facial hair than with the best Wahl clippers?

The household name for professional barbers and average, everyday at-home stylists alike, the brand has been around for over 100 years providing high-quality clippers to both businesses and consumers. In fact, Wahl’s founder, Leo J. Wahl, invented the electromagnetic motor. It wasn’t long before that technology took an entire industry by storm. 

If you’re looking for a new way to cut your hair and trim your beard, look no further than the best Wahl clippers, which we’ve carefully selected to help you make an informed decision.

Best Professional Clippers: Wahl Professional Cordless Senior ($138)

Best for Home Use: Wahl Clipper Elite Pro ($50) 

Best for Fades: Wahl 79445 Extreme-Fade ($35)

Best for Pet Hair: Wahl Professional Chromado Lithium ($162)

Best Budget Hair Clippers (also: best cheap): Wahl Color Pro ($28)

Best Overall: Wahl Professional Cordless Senior ($138)

Image credit:
Wahl

Those who work in barbershops have different needs than those of us still giving ourselves DIY cuts at home. Made for professionals by professionals, the Wahl Professional Cordless Senior provides a thorough cut no matter what style you or your clients are going for. With three premium cutting guides in the box — 1/16”, 1/8”, and 3/16” in size — as well as a styling comb, cleaning brush, blade oil, and a red blade guard, this shaver has it all.

Best Professional Clippers: Wahl Clipper Elite Pro ($50)

Best Professional Clippers: Wahl Clipper Elite Pro ($50)

Image credit:
Wahl

Because you might not trust yourself or your housemates to use industry-grade clippers at home, the Wahl Clipper Elite Pro is the best choice for amateurs. Yet despite being made with consumers in mind, Wahl didn’t cut corners (no pun intended) in the process of paring it down. Along with a high-performance, albeit near-silent motor, the Elite Pro includes with it 10 different guards, shears, scissors, a cleaning brush, a cape, a bib, and a comb at no extra cost.

Best for Fades: Wahl 79445 Extreme-Fade ($35)

Best for Fades: Wahl 79445 Extreme-Fade ($35)

Image credit:
Wahl

There’s nothing quite like a fresh fade. However, as much as you might like them, paying a visit to your local barber every time you need another trim can put a huge dent in your budget. Fortunately, the Wahl 79445 Extreme-Fade exists to keep your high-maintenance hairstyle intact without the recurring charge. Specially designed for smooth fade cuts and touch-ups, the clippers come with 10 attachments and a powerful motor to boot.

Best for Pet Hair: Wahl Professional Chromado Lithium ($162)

Best for Pet Hair: Wahl Professional Chromado Lithium ($162)

Image credit:
Wahl

Grooming a pet is quite literally a different beast from grooming yourself. Created specifically for professionals, the Wahl Professional Chromado Lithium is a safe way to navigate trims on all your furry friends. Not only does it work with dogs and cats, but it can also be used on horses, goats, pigs, and cattle too. A 5-in-1 blade ensures the utmost flexibility while a quiet operation helps to keep your pet or livestock 100 percent stress-free.

Best Budget Hair Clippers: Wahl Color Pro ($28)

Best Budget Hair Clippers: Wahl Color Pro ($28)

Image credit:
Wahl

The Wahl Color Pro is evidence you don’t have to pour out your savings to get a decent enough cut. Fit for any at-home barber, this affordable clipper set is color-coded so you know exactly what size guard you’re using without having to squint at the small text printed on each one. Since it’s wireless, you can use it off the cord for a whole hour before it’s time to recharge. But even then, you can continue your trim with the cable plugged in for the sake of convenience.



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We are a team of consultants, vendors, graphics designers and development professionals who love partnering with good people and businesses to help them achieve online success.

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We’re focused on our craft and bringing everything we have to the table for our clients. We create custom, functional graphics, branding & content focused on converting your users into customers.

Why We Do It

Each of us loves what we do and we feel that spirit helps translate into the quality of our work. Working with clients who love their work combines into a fun, wonderful partnership for everyone involved.

The mysterious millionaire who paid $ 28 million to travel to space with Jeff Bezos cannot go due to ‘scheduling problems’


Is there anything more important than traveling into space with Jeff Bezos after paying $ 28 million for the seat? Apparently yes, because the anonymous millionaire ended up giving his place to an 18-year-old student.

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4 min read

This article was translated from our Spanish edition using AI technologies. Errors may exist due to this process.


Next July 20, 2021 is the scheduled date for the first trip into space with passengers from Blue Origin , Jeff Bezos’ aerospace company. On board will travel the billionaire founder of Amazon , his brother Mark and veteran aviator Wally Funk . The mysterious millionaire who paid 28 million dollars for a seat should also go on the ship, but has already canceled, arguing ‘scheduling problems’.

Just days after takeoff, the anonymous mogul recalled that he had something more important to do, Blue Origin reported in an official statement . Although the identity of the buyer has not been revealed, it is known that he paid the millionaire sum after winning the charity auction announced last May.

His place will be taken by Oliver Daemen , an 18-year-old student who has a private pilot’s license and is taking a year off before entering university to study physics. The young man is the son of Joes Daemen, CEO of Somerset Capital Partners, who paid an unspecified amount for a seat on Blue Origin’s second manned flight. The boy will become the first paying customer of Blue Origin and the youngest person to travel to space .

Of course, Oliver Daemen is not the only one who will break a record on that flight. 82-year-old Wally Funk will be the oldest person to go into space in history.

What will Blue Origin and Jeff Bezos’ first flight into space look like?

Next Tuesday, July 20, the New Shepard suborbital rocket will take off to launch the RSS First Step space capsule . The vehicle works autonomously and does not need a pilot on board, in addition, both the rocket and the capsule are completely reusable.

The RSS First Step space capsule is planned to reach an altitude of approximately 100 kilometers above sea level. At this altitude is the Kármán line, the limit that the FĂ©dĂ©ration AĂ©ronautique Internationale recognizes as the border of space. This means that Bezos’ spacecraft will exceed the height reached by Richard Branson on Virgin Galactic’s first manned flight into space , which was 80 kilometers.

While the capsule can hold six passengers, Blue Origin’s first group of space tourists is made up of just four people. Travelers will experience the sensation of weightlessness for about three minutes before returning to Earth, in a fall cushioned by three huge parachutes.

The statement notes that the mysterious millionaire already has a place secured “on a future New Shepard mission .” They detailed that the money raised in the auction allowed Club for the Future , a foundation created by Blue Origin , to donate 19 million dollars to 19 non-profit organizations, that is, one million each.





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Getting online is easy. Succeeding online is a different story. You’ll need more than just a beautiful website to stand out these days. Online marketing solutions. Conversion-based web design coupled with a lead generating marketing plan, your online success is inevitable.

Who We Are

We are a team of consultants, vendors, graphics designers and development professionals who love partnering with good people and businesses to help them achieve online success.

What We Do

We’re focused on our craft and bringing everything we have to the table for our clients. We create custom, functional graphics, branding & content focused on converting your users into customers.

Why We Do It

Each of us loves what we do and we feel that spirit helps translate into the quality of our work. Working with clients who love their work combines into a fun, wonderful partnership for everyone involved.