LinkedIn Security on Login

July 30th, 2010 | by Jason Alba |

I just got a note about this and had to check it out… when trying to log into LinkedIn, after you put your username and password in, you go to a security page (I’m guessing they’ll streamline that later so it’s all on one page):


My first thought was DANG, one more step to login!  This will slow me down!

And indeed it will.

However, this shows LinkedIn (the company) is serious about the spam, and potential for spam.  Putting this in place helps keep bots, or programs that can auto-login, from the system, which hopefully means less fake accounts, less spam, etc.

I guess it’s the price of fame in the social space.  We all want the crap users to go away, and this should keep it down quite a bit.

But it’s like adding TSA to the airport process…. more hoops for us to jump through.

Is this a big deal or a good move?

  1. 18 Responses to “LinkedIn Security on Login”

  2. By Fred Dempster on Jul 30, 2010 | Reply

    NBD – This is common on many sites today – as long as a human can tell the letters it is fine

  3. By Steve Duncan on Aug 2, 2010 | Reply

    I find it annoying enough that I’m using Linkedin a lot less on my iPhone – strangely, it doesn’t show up on my desktop yet.

    With their iPhone app being useless, I guess my mobile usage of Linkedin is going to drop to zero.

    With LI’s long history of ignoring dead/fake/straw accounts, I don’t buy that it’s to reduce spam. My guess is it’s to reduce server load/operating costs.

    It should accomplish that goal nicely.

  4. By Jason Alba on Aug 2, 2010 | Reply

    @Fred, thanks… no big deal to you (for those who don’t know what NBD means)… I agree that it’s an inconvenience that I can deal with if it means a cleaner network.

    @Steve, nice contrast… a friend of mine SWEARS by the LI app on his iPhone… why do you find it useless? I got a chuckle out of your last sentence there :p

  5. By Steve Duncan on Aug 2, 2010 | Reply

    The phone app is a bad copy of the Facebook app. To not be useless it has to allow me to do everything I can do on the site. Most iPhone apps in this context are useless, because they bypass ad schemes, and I usually just use the regular site.

    What I meant by reducing costs is that Linkedin probably doesn’t care if bogus accounts get created. They’ve always talked out of both sides when it comes to the sanctity of network relationships – i.e. only connect to those you now well, but here’s an app to invite everyone you’ve traded email with – and they’ve always let clearly dead/spam/bogus accounts sit.

    I believe their business is about selling reach, and spam doesn’t interfere with that. I haven’t seen much spam outside of answers anyway.

    Instead, they’re probably seeing sever load from apps that people create to automatically log in, check stuff, do searches, or whatever. Such activity bypasses their advertising and increases their costs, so they want to block it.

    When you use a captcha to block spam you use it in the registration process. I’ve never seen it used on login before.

    I think it’s another signal of the end of Linkedin. When they abandoned their own direction to become Facebook Deux, the decline began. I know I’ve seen less and less activity through LI over the years.

  6. By Darren D. on Aug 4, 2010 | Reply

    Yeah I find it a little annoying but I usually ALWAYS leave tabs up logged in on my computer and I quickly forget about it after I type in the code… Not that big of a deal.
    Oh also I agree with Fred about not caring if it’s easily readable by a human :^)

  7. By Rhonda Blender on Aug 9, 2010 | Reply

    This double layer of security is a real nuisance especially on the bus or train bouncing around. I’ve only recently encountered it and then on my iPhone. What’s the point of a password if we then have to do this too?

  8. By Steve Duncan on Aug 9, 2010 | Reply

    So is it correct that it’s only
    Coming up for the iPhone? For me it seems to be.

  9. By Jason Alba on Aug 9, 2010 | Reply

    @Steve – I had it on the web, from my PC….

  10. By Mike West on Aug 17, 2010 | Reply

    OK we have to sign in and it is annoying. Now the security sign in numbers and letters are getting harder and harder to read………If someone sends me a message via Linkeidn and I respond then there is no security log in…strange?

  11. By Steve Duncan on Aug 17, 2010 | Reply

    No stranger than being able to use the iPhone app without the “security verification”. Then again, the app doesn’t let you do very much.

    Jason, have you ever contacted LI about it?

  12. By Geert Bonte on Aug 20, 2010 | Reply

    This is funny:

  13. By matt on Aug 25, 2010 | Reply

    The Captcha does not show up at all on a Palm Treo. I rarely use LinkedIn on anything else, so I am cut off from the service entirely.

    I log in blind while walking or under the table in a meeting most of the time, feeling the keys on my keyboard to enter my username and password. Even if they fixed the fact my Treo cannot display the captcha or entry field, this still makes it impossible to log in without staring at my phone.

    I find the Captcha after login frustrating on a computer, almost unbearable on a mobile device where it does work. The unbearable to use point is currently moot since on any phone without Java this Captcha cannot be used.

    Additionally, this is not ADA compliant since the Captcha renders LinkedIn inaccessible to the vision impaired and is downright mean for those of us who struggle with dyslexia.

  14. By JP on Aug 26, 2010 | Reply

    Yes! This log in process is brutal and, half the time, unreadable. One more example of how LinkedIn is stodgy to the point of asking yourself, ‘What signal am I sending being part of this cattle call?’

  15. By mwgrover on Aug 28, 2010 | Reply

    I was annoyed by it at first, but it’s not so bad when you realize it helps in battling the evil spambots. They definitely need to put it all on one screen to improve usability though.

  16. By J. Kanas on Sep 15, 2010 | Reply

    I have had a couple of exchanges with LinkedIn customer support over ongoing CAPTCHA issues. When this nonsense was first initiated by LinkedIn, the CAPTCHA screen would frequently appear without any letters. When it did appear, there was about a 1 in 5 chance that I’d get the letters and punctuation marks right, and be able to log in.

    Today, I’ve been trying for about 20 minutes and about 30 attempts to get CAPTCHA to accept what I type in. I sent another message to LinkedIn customer service this morning. I’m guessing that my account has been locked due to too many attempts.

    I’ve been using the site for many years, but I need to be confident that I will be able to access the application when I need it. As of now, LinkedIn is totally inaccessible.

    What other alternatives are out there that provide a similar service? I’m guessing that I’m not the only individual with this problem, and that competitive sites will be getting a surge of new customers due to the difficulties associated with CAPTCHA.

  17. By Gary on Sep 17, 2010 | Reply

    I agree with the comments here. I have been a linkedin user for many many years and have never had problems loggin in until the last few months… Sometimes I have been a little forgetful about password as I have so many but never been an issue to reset them..

    I have now been unable to access Linkiedin for over a week and I know I have mails and people trying to contact me using liunkedin – I tried resetting my password using the link on the login page and indeed went through the whole procedure, when entering the password It said it was incorrect………. several hours later and 4 password reset attempts later, I am still waiting for a response from the Linkedin team after I sent them a request for help.

    I have heard stories and read blogs on the web about the password server being slow to update, as i have now attempted the password reset procedure 4 times, I havent got a cluse which password I should use………. Is it possible they have locked my account? Has anyone had a response from their support team and how lonf did it take from sending the message to them??

  18. By Randall on Sep 21, 2010 | Reply

    I don’t have a problem on the strategy, it’s just the execution that I get PO’d about everytime I login. Ok I’m in my late 40′s and need reading glasses but I need to refresh about 5 times before even seeing something I remotely can type in.

    maybe I’m an old fart with bad site, and little patience but the captcha has been the single thing that has turned one user from an evangelist to a wimpy whiner. I hate linkedin now…

  19. By Gary on Sep 22, 2010 | Reply

    No it’s not only you…. I have to reset the image on occasions half a dozen times before I can visibly see what the words / phrase is…. Like you I am all for security…. but this is simply ruining the Linkedin experience… since I wrote my last messgae I got a replt email from the Linkedin customer support amost a week later refering me to a section in the Login Q&A about the new security precautions…….I simply replied saying.”you didnt bother reading my query did you” and left it at that….. 0/10 for service

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