LinkedIn Prepares for University Pages, Expands Security

LinkedIn is bolstering its IT security team, including adding a Senior Security Manager to the group, as it launches its University Pages, which allows high school students to connect with alumni during their college search.

LinkedIn University Pages ThumbnailCurrently, the company is looking for a Senior Product Risk Specialist for its Trust and Safety team, which handles keeping LinkedIn a “clean and well-lit professional environment.” This senior trust and safety manager will play a key role in carving out LinkedIn’s security strategy, which includes investigating cases of abuse. The job was posted last week.

In addressing its need for more IT security pros with the kickoff of University Pages, LinkedIn said in a statement to Dice News:

We are a fast-growing company, and constantly add more staff across many different departments, including Trust & Safety, to be able to continue to provide a great experience for our growing member base.

Though the networking site generally is less scandal-plagued than Facebook and Craigslist, the moves by LinkedIn nevertheless raise the potential for inappropriate contact between unknown adults and teenagers.

LinkedIn lowered its minimum age to 14 in the United States and a number of universities have already begun making pages available, including the University of California San Diego, University of Michigan and Rochester Institute of Technology. More will come online in the next few weeks.

Students will have access to the same features and services that other members have, such as the ability to join groups and message other members, a LinkedIn spokesman said. However, along with the lowered age, LinkedIn has revised its privacy policy and urges parents to make sure teens know how to manage their settings to enhance their privacy.

Among the changes: The company plans to reduce the time it stores personal or location (IP address) data obtained through off-site plug-ins such as the LinkedIn Share button, with data to be stored no more than seven days.

In addition, it will hide the birth year for those under 18 and will prevent those teens’ profiles from appearing in public search engines such as Google and Bing. LinkedIn will only show a teen’s profile photo to their first-degree connections, as well as limit their personal information to their first name, last name initial and general region where they live. The teen’s information also will not be shared with third-party applications.

Time will tell what other features the Trust & Safety team will add should issues of inappropriate contact with minors arise.

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