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LinkedIn Spam

posted Jul 23, 2015, 11:31 AM by Craig Cox   [ updated Jul 23, 2015, 11:32 AM ]
Have you received LinkedIn invitations through the email from people you hardly know, even though you're not a member?  Have you ever accidentally sent invitations to your entire contact list, and wondered how it happened?

Blogger Dan Schlosser gives a detailed (and occasionally salty) analysis of how LinkedIn is actively deceptive in its quest to build its network of connections.  He uses bits of jargon -- UX is "user experience", NUX is "new user experience" -- but he still paints a vivid, detailed picture of the design choices LinkedIn makes to guide you, aware or not, towards granting access to your email contacts.

Linked at the end of this analysis is another blog entry where Schlosser shows us how to check whether LinkedIn already has this access, and if so, how to delete those contacts. 

While I was following along on this one, I very nearly gave over my gmail contacts.  For those who have followed my advice about password managers and installed LastPass, add this step:  Once you have logged in to LinkedIn, log out of LastPass, then follow the steps described.  LastPass automatically prefilled the gmail access prompt and clicked next!  I was one click away from spamming everyone who has ever emailed my home address, including a few mailing lists. 
I have already used LastPass to change my gmail password, not knowing if LinkedIn could be trusted to discard it.

LinkedIn does have potential as a professional networking site, but I agree with the general sentiment in the comments to the first linked article:  LinkedIn is sacrificing its long-term reputation for short-term gain.