LinkedIn facing $5 million lawsuit

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Illinois woman to sue LinkedIn for not having an effective security system in place to protect users

Professional social networking site LinkedIn has been hit with a $5 million (£3.2 million) lawsuit by an Illinois woman claiming that the company did not have sufficient security systems in place to protect users.

According to reports, Katie Szpyrka believes that the organisation deceived customers about the extent to which their details were safe by not having a data protection strategy that was up to industry standards.

However, LinkedIn has moved to quell the fears of its members, explaining that no one has been a victim of criminal activity following the breach.

"No member account has been breached as a result of the incident, and we have no reason to believe that any LinkedIn member has been injured," LinkedIn spokeswoman Erin O’Harra told Reuters.

The company sparked outrage at the beginning of June when it admitted that up to six million passwords had been stolen and published on a hacking website, leaving people’s personal information exposed to cyber criminals.

As a result of the breach, anyone who had an account on the website was urged to change their password – both for LinkedIn and any other sites for which they used the same login details – in order to protect themselves against the threat of illegal activity such as identity theft.

While it remains to be seen if Ms Szpyrka will be successful with her claim, the event highlights how seriously people take the security of their personal information, as well as the financial consequences that organisations which expose sensitive data can face.

Whether it’s secure online document storage, educating staff about effective security strategies or carrying out regular checks on servers to ensure that there are no potential holes in the system, there are a range of measures that companies can take as they go about protecting the confidential files that they store.

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