LinkedIn now offers free badges for users to verify their identity and workplace to avoid fake profiles.
- The verification options include using CLEAR to prove your identity, verifying your workplace through an email address, and using Microsoft’s Entra verified ID platform to obtain digital workplace IDs, according to The Verge.
- The platform will highlight verifications using a green and blue checkmark attached to the user’s profile.
- The company email verification is now available to all LinkedIn users if they work at one of the more than 4,000 companies that are supported. The Microsoft Entra verification is planned to start rolling out at the end of the month.
Why it’s news
During the pandemic, as many employees stopped going to the office, LinkedIn became the go-to platform where many professionals networked, made human connections, and searched for jobs.
Around 52 million users search for jobs on LinkedIn weekly, and about 230 million job applications are submitted monthly, Fortune reports. As the platform’s popularity rises, so does the risk of job scams.
Data from the Federal Trade Commission shows that reported job scams nearly tripled to 104,000 between 2019 and 2021, and the number remained high through 2022.
U.S. job hunters lost around $200 million from job scams in 2021, a big jump from the $133 million lost in 2019.
To help users avoid job scams and prove their identity on the platform, LinkedIn now offers free verification badges for users to personally identify themselves and their workplace.
“Authenticity online has never been more important,” says Microsoft’s vice president of identity security Alex Weinert in an interview with The Verge. “We’ve seen a steady uptick in fraudulent presentations with people pretending to be people they’re not in all kinds of different forms. You want to know really that if you interact with somebody who says they’re employed by a certain company or represent a certain company that you can trust who they say they are. The need for that is pretty clear.”
Microsoft-owned LinkedIn is launching new verification options for users, including the ability to use CLEAR to prove your identity, verification of your workplace through an email address, and use Microsoft’s Entra verified ID platform to obtain digital workplace IDs.
Unlike Twitter and Instagram, which recently rolled out paid verification badges, LinkedIn offers the badge for free. All users have to do is verify their company email address and confirm their identity with a government-issued ID.
Microsoft is looking to push its Entra systems beyond just the job-searching platform, allowing others to use it for background checks, loan applications, and rewards programs. The system verifies users and can speed up job processes by keeping the verifications in one place so jobs do not have to do their own background checks on potential new workers.
The system is backed by a decentralized identity and a trust model that involves an issuer, a holder, and a verifier, according to The Verge. Organizations can issue cryptographically signed digital IDs, which employees can then use to prove they work at a company and get basic discounts or to even prove they’re employed to get approved for a loan. Microsoft wants to push this type of system beyond LinkedIn to even more places where verification and trust are needed.
“This is just the beginning,” says Microsoft president of network access Joy Chik. “Verified ID credentials can increase trust, authenticity, and verifiability while reducing cost, time, and friction in many scenarios.”