Have Any Super-Sekrit Information On Your LinkedIn Profile?

This wouldn’t be funny if it were the first time it’s happened, but it isn’t – so it is funny!

Redorbit.com has pointed out some information about Microsoft’s plans for Windows 8 & 9 – plans gleaned from the profile of a Microsoft employee on LinkedIn.

Here’s some handy advice so that you can avoid the unlucky position this gentleman is in.

The breach

The breach in and of itself is probably not so significant – Microsoft is working on the successor to Windows 7 (oddly enough called Windows 8), and the successor to that (and just as strangely named Windows 9!).

The next chunk of information (that is perhaps shocking) is that there’s talk of using 128 bits – and for all you non-technical people reading this, that’s just a boatload of bits.  In some sense we’re barely scratching the surface of 64 bit systems, so that is perhaps a shock.

And lastly – this individual identified a handful of key partners that I’ll refrain from mentioning here as we don’t appear to have any sponsorship agreements in place (yet).

Oh heck, you can see them directly when you go look at redorbits article on the Microsoft information gleaned from LinkedIn here…

Protect yourself people!

I get a good deal of laughter when I use this line in my LinkedIn training programs when talking about building a profile:

“If you’re working on a super-sekrit project, you don’t want to mention anything about that on your LinkedIn profile.”

See – now I’ve gone and given away the content of my own training…  That’s ok – it’ll still be funny there, and the concept is already out in the world.

But really – take my advice and don’t do it!

Not the first time

This was a bit more serious last fall when an Apple employee revealed that he was managing a team developing a new chip for the iPhone.

At that time, I was telling you how to use the LinkedIn  system to get information on your competitors.

Apparently I was successful;-)

Corporate classification of information

It is quite possible that this poor employee didn’t know that the information was still secret.

And I have been in places where they say “you have to protect all the information that we say is confidential or trade-secret” – but then the organization doesn’t make any effort to identify that which is confidential.

So – if you’re responsible for corporate information or corporate image, and it’s a reasonable effort, you might want to visit the profiles of company employees just to check what they’re saying now and then.

[And this does not give corporate “power” over what an individual says about themselves, but really gives veto power over what they can’t say – because they’ve probably signed a non-disclosure statement anyway…]

Social security and bank account numbers too

And yes, this goes for all those other numbers people are trying to weasel out of you – don’t think about putting them in your profile either. (and yes – I’ve been asked about putting a SSN in a profile by a seminar attendee…)

Remember – mums the word;-)

To your continued success,

Steven Tylock



  1. I’m just guessing here, but I’d wager that the “poor employee” might NOT be in the employ of the Microsoft Corporation anymore…

  2. Hi Steve,

    I must admit that LinkedIn still is less harmful than some Facebook profiles, but this is a classic. You can easily monitor your competitions projects by looking at their staff movements!

    Another thing we want to take into consideration here: nothing stops you from creating a profile with competitor information and cause a social media “viral bomb” by posting something that may – or may not – be true just to see your competitors reaction in the press. If their lawyers are on the case immediately it most likely means they are actually working on the project!

    All the best

  3. Well, I’d call that a bit unethical – and why tread there when you don’t have to. It appears people are willing to put all sorts of material out without prompting anyway…-)


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