Is LinkedIn Blocked For You?

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This topic contains 36 replies, has 28 voices, and was last updated by  Elliot Volkman 10 years, 3 months ago.

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  • #128640

    Sterling Whitehead just posted this question for colleagues over in the Young Acquisition Professionals group:

    Well, my DOD agency, supposedly social media friendly, has just blocked LinkedIn. Has anyone else experienced something similar?

    It’s pretty surprising since LinkedIn is mostly (like GovLoop) a highly professional network. So we’d like to add:

    How has LinkedIn been valuable to you in terms of advancing your career or connecting you with key people in your field of expertise?

    Sound off…and maybe we can come up with a response that gets your employer to reinstate it.

    P.S. Be sure to check out GovLoop’s LinkedIn Group, too.

    UPDATE: I just talked to Sterling and learned from posting in our DoD Group that it’s not ALL of DoD that has blocked LinkedIn – just the Navy Strategic Systems Programs.

  • #128712

    Elliot Volkman

    When I was working in the BAE Systems offices they blocked flash applications from launching out of Facebook. That way we still had access, and couldn’t get in trouble for playing with Farmville (more relevant at the time).

  • #128710

    Sam Snead

    LinkedIn has been invaluable for me in terms of my career. I have made several important contacts in my industry and developed them over time regardless of distance because of this powerful tool. I have also started several groups where members periodically share vital information and network with members.

    If my agency were to ban it I would just use it on my cell phone rather than through an agency computer. There is an app for that. I am not sure whether certain more security sensitive agencies allow smartphones at work though.

  • #128708

    Steve Ressler

    To me, LinkedIn is the 21st century rolodex. One wouldn’t ban a rolodex at work (or Outlook contacts which I used to use this way) as it’s essential when you need to find someone you met in the past for a problem you are facing.

  • #128706

    Daniel Reed

    When the telephone was invented bosses would not let their employees have one on their desk for a long time….. management did not trust employees with the new tech.

    Same with the internet…. most places would not have each individual employee connected to the internet… only one common computer in the office was hooked to the internet….. we all had to use one common computer to check e-mails…. again management did not trust their employees with the new tech.

  • #128704

    Deena Larsen

    LinkedIn is my “kitchen cabinet”–I get a tough question at work. I say… hmmmmm.. .let me get back to you.

    I post the question on LinkedIn. Then I get professional answers and I investigate and collate. I have used LinkedIn for everything from professional rates and evaluation criteria to innovation ideas. If it were blocked, I’d run home at lunch for this.

  • #128702

    Debbie DeHart

    I agree it is useful as a Rolodex. But so much more. I connect with other users to interact via User groups for SharePoint and such. It’s a huge advantage to be able to go and find a vendor or another user of a product to find the best solution to a problem, as well as connect with colleagues from long ago who might have the expertise I need. I think it’s great!

  • #128700

    Elliot Volkman

    I absolutely agree with this sentiment. The level of professionals on Linkedin generally results in worthwhile answers.

  • #128698

    Carlos V. Roman

    I enjoy using LinkedIn and I preferred it over Facebook. I think a more targeted community of professionals is the ideal situation rather than broadcasting your message out to individuals that don’t care much. Target your audience, target your message and find targeted industry contacts is the way to go.

    I think the near future will be more niche social networks that have social sharing distribution tools.


  • #128696

    Jay A. Allen

    Concur whole-heartedly. This is where all my most highly trusted intra-agency contacts can be found. I may be slanted a bit to much to the left on this one, however I have come to the conclusion that – if you don’t have a LinkedIn profile, you are likely not someone who understands business (including government) culture today.

    When I was with DHS, LinkedIn was available for a long period and then went away. I made a “soft conclusion” was that it was around while the former CIO was building his connections and then, with the Administration change, the new CIO didn’t share that motive.

    Coupling the two comments together and expanding upon point number one – when the agency intranet is too kludgy to store out-of-agency POCs using MS Outlook or other, LinkedIn provides the platform – much like GovLoop – to get real business done.

  • #128694


    So far, LinkedIn is not blocked, but Twitter and Facebook, etc. are blocked. I work for a conservative Southern state agency… We have a “Facebook PC” set up for employees that want to use it for promoting their programs, but no one dares to use it!

  • #128692

    I work under contract with the Federal government–and not only have I learned a good deal from participating in LinkedIn groups, I post relevant threads from LinkedIn groups (eLearning and American Evaluation Association) to our company intranet (Jive platform). Of course I can’t bill for the time I spend doing this either to my employer or the government, but both reap the benefits.

    Believe it or not, people found ways to waste time before the internet! Hire professionals and hold them accountable for results!

  • #128690

    I stopped using LinkedIn when I picked up a crazy stalker-ish person at work. LinkedIn has no way to block people from seeing your profile, which shocked the hell out of me. Even twitter has a feature like that…

  • #128688

    Kathy Sciannella

    I use LinkedIn for both professional contacts and to reconnect with former colleagues. I belong to an alumni group, and a group of Federal human resource professionals. Like GovLoop, it allows me to keep my eye on what other HR professionals are doing in different agencies. It’s a resource and a networking tool.

    Facebook is blocked at my agency but not Twitter. GovLoop was blocked for a week and came back.

    I agree — LinkedIn is the 21st century rolodex — could not have said it better myself.

  • #128686

    Eric Erickson

    In the IRS Recruitment Office, LinkedIn is naturally a fantastic way for us to interact with potential candidates. HOWEVER, we cannot send a LinkedIn in-mail message or add someone as a friend from within the IRS firewall. To do those actions – which are both things that help us recruit people and answer question – we must do so from our home computer.

    Not being able to do your work at work makes work a little more challenging.

  • #128684

    What’s the rationale for them blocking it, Eric? Has anyone tried to get the restriction removed?

  • #128682

    I’ll never forget one of the first times I conducted a social media training and I asked how people used LinkedIn, one respondent raised his hand and said, “It’s the first place I turn when I have a perplexing question on the job. My peers quickly come to my aid and I solve problems faster.”

    I don’t understand why it would be blocked as it accelerates the speed of solutions and success.

  • #128680

    Here’s a great story about a CLO who has used LinkedIn to vault his career and benefit his agency:

    Note that I posted that interview 2 years ago!

  • #128678

    Brian Dowling

    It is surprising, especially if they do let you use Facebook or maybe MySpace. Perhaps they are worried about you looking for another job. In truth it is a very valuable resource and the level of discussion within the groups is always of the highest caliber, far above what is often found on the web.

    What surprises me is that GovLoop does not include LinkedIn in its share options. Thanks for letting me know about the LinkedIn GovLoop Group, I just applied.

  • #128676

    Andrew O. Green

    Defense Logistics Agency hasn’t blocked it.

    I was actually able to make a contact on LinkedIn that could actually save the government time and money on a procurement. It would be silly to cut out LinkedIn here.

  • #128674

    DFAS doesn’t block it either, I just successfully logged in. I need to educate myself on how to use this effectively at work, I hadn’t previously considered it useful beyond general networking!

  • #128672

    Nicole Banks

    I have a LinkedIn profile, yet rarely use it. I appreciate this forum because now I can see the value. I had been praying over the value you of it, and this was the answer. I’m glad to know that there is a community available to answer difficult questions. I’m at an agency that doesn’t block any social media. In comparison to what I’ve read here, this agency is very liberal in the use of the internet and social media.

  • #128670

    Lori Windle

    so far, so good at DOI.. but now I feel like I am waiting for the other shoe to drop! DOI has a FB page, but employees cannot access FB at work. Sometimes I can get through to Twitter, sometimes not. LinkedIn is an essential tool for professional networking and all the other reasons stated below. through LinkedIn I have connected to people who I have found to be friendly, helpful and engaging, and have included them in events in our native non-profit organization. This only helps to expand and strengthen our organization, (SAIGE) which provides training in Indian issues for federal, state, tribal and local government employees.

  • #128668

    Domingo Rogers

    The company I am currently with is very pro LinkedIn and Twitter. Unfortunately Facebook is blocked because of problems that occurred early on with individuals taking advantage of the service and not being smart on what they clicked on. There are a very select few that have access to Facebook and those individuals are on Macs….

    In regards to the question: LinkedIn has been very helpful to me as I have advanced my career over the years. I was an early adopter of LinkedIn when I was living up in Michigan back in 2002. I made the mistake then of linking to my corporate email and when I left the company I had to abandon that account because I forgot the password. Since that time as a “LinkedIn Open Networker (LION)” I have built a contact list of just under 700 people and continue to strive connect with professionals that I work with. LinkedIn is a tool and like any tool it can be used to help build your a career or help to destroy it. It all depends on you and how you build your “brand.” Unless your place of business completely bans you from having a LinkedIn profile, you can still build your profile away from the office and access it on your personal smart phone or home computer!

  • #128666

    Henry Brown

    Would offer that those people in management who feel threatened by enlightened employees will often block access to various social networking groups.

    They often use the weakest excuses, a typical example with be @Elliot’s example, also I had a acquaintance share with me that his division initially blocked gov-loop because Gov-Loop could NOT provide adequate assurance that gov-loop would not be the source of SPAM.

    At least those organizations who block access are somewhat better than others who will do rather “dumb” things like block access to the internet because an employee downloaded a virus package which took several days to clean up on the “network” Been awhile but some branches of DOD actually blocked HTML messages because they thought it was a security threat that would cost an extensive amount $$ to address. Another DOD agency would not allow emails sent from on “their” server….

  • #128664

    Sterling Whitehead

    Well, good news and bad news. There isn’t a block like I originally thought; instead there is a quota on how many minutes I can use the site or even keep it open in an unused tab.

    This is actually more demoralizing. This quota implies that there is enough value in LinkedIn to not block it, but I’m not trusted enough to manage my own time.

  • #128662

    Randy Steer

    DOE seems pretty open to LinkedIn, although I’ve been noticing lately that LinkedIn’s own practices are reducing its value. (Progressively hiding more of people’s information unless you pay for a premium service level, which is pretty expensive — I can’t imagine myself or most of my colleagues being willing to pay what they charge.)

    Interestingly, DOE blocks GovLoop *subdomains* as being “social media”. Well, duh! But the primary domain is not blocked, so anything that can be addressed as a subdirectory is accessible, but not things that can only be addressed as subdomains.

  • #128660

    Steve Ressler

    That’s weird Ryan. So something like doesnt’ work but main part does? I have a letter that may be helpful to share w/ your IT security – ping me and I’ll send it over

  • #128658

    Steve Ressler

    That is worse.

  • #128656

    Christie Scott

    We are not blocked on LinkdIn. In fact, I was just asked to join the networks of three of our five Commissioners. However, I agree with most of the folks who have posted. If it were to be banned, I would just use it from my home computer. In general, I try not to use it on work time, unless I’m doing something work-related. If I’m just catching up with old friends, I do that on my personal time.

  • #128654

    Marco Morales

    I concur with Steve’s (Mr. GovLoop) overview of LinkeIn – it serves to connect with key people in any industry/occupation out there plus it’s all digitized. For a while I didn’t have access via my work computer but seems the problem has gone away. No problems accessing it now.

  • #128652

    Andrew O. Green

    LinkedIn SSL Cookie Vulnerability

    The DLA Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT) has been notified that LinkedIn’s professional networking website has security flaws that make users’ accounts vulnerable to attack by hackers who, if successful, can then access a user’s profile. A problem exists in how the LinkedIn website stores a users’ login information on its server and in how that login information is sent to the website.

    After a user enters their username and password to access their LinkedIn account, that data is stored on the user’s computer, and it serves as a key for the user to gain access to his/her LinkedIn account. One of the problems recently discovered is in how LinkedIn stores that data on its server: the data remains active for the user even after the user logs out, closes their browser, or otherwise ends their LinkedIn session. Most websites expire that user data when the user logs out or ends their web session, but LinkedIn stores the data for an extended period of time. Another problem exists in how the user’s data is sent to the website: Although the users’ login data is transmitted over what appears to be an encrypted channel (HTTPS), the data is not encrypted. The user data, then, is sent to the website in clear-text, which an attacker can steal by using tools that are widely available on the internet. Once the attacker has the users’ data, and because the users data that is stored on the LinkedIn server remains active on the server for an extended period of time, an attacker can access the users account as many times and for as long as the user data remains active on the server, even though the user is not logged in. An attacker can then compromise and modify whatever information the user has available on their profile page, which could include the users personally identifiable information and business contacts.

    Until LinkedIn remedies these problems, the DLA CERT recommends:

    Users should be watchful for unauthorized changes to their LinkedIn accounts. Also be aware that, as a result of user account compromise, an attacker could launch spear phishing attacks under the guise of a compromised user.

    Users are to be vigilant of emails that may be spear phishing attack attempts. When in doubt of an emails authenticity, contact the sender by other means such as by telephone.

    Users should report any suspicious email received at their DLA mail account that could be a phishing attack attempt to their local IAM and the DLA Spam Alert Mailbox. If a user receives a suspected phishing email, they should create a new email message, drag the suspicious email into the new message, and forward the new message to DLA Spam Alert at [email protected]. Users are also reminded to never click on links from unknown, untrusted, or suspect sources. Email messages should also be digitally signed.

    If you have any questions, please contact your immediate Supervisor. Thanks for doing your part by staying vigilant.

  • #128650

    Mark Hammer

    I can “get” LinkedIn at work, and get requests and updates all the time. I just have absolutely no idea what on earth it is used for, or what it provides me, or other people for that matter.

    So what the devil is it?

  • #128648

    Elliot Volkman

    It’s essentially the professional network that Facebook is not. You can use it to make connections, find relevant groups for discussions or ask questions, etc.

  • #128646

    Mark Hammer

    Ah, you see, got me there. I’ve never been able to figure what use Facebook could be to me. Seen it once or twice, but never knowingly “used” it. No wonder I can’t figure what to do with LinkedIn!

  • #128644

    William Lim

    My agency uses Websense as our web filter, so often what’s blocked and not blocked is subject to the whim of whatever version of Websense has been installed that day. However, consistently over the last 6-12 months, I’ve seen the e-mail aspects of LinkedIn being blocked but not other parts of the site. Sometimes Websense will give me the option of using up a 30 minute window of my daily 120 minute quota for personal online time, which includes LinkedIn e-mail. Facebook has always been blocked. YouTube and streaming video/internet radio has been pretty consistently blocked over the last year. However, Websense seems to be very schizophrenic about blocking MySpace, Twitter, Ning-based social networks (like GovLoop), and blogs. I’m not sure if managers in my agency have a higher level of access, if it’s so then they don’t really let on. Suffice it to say that we’re not the most “with it” agency in terms of social media.

  • #128642

    Jack Shaw

    I think LinkedIn is great. We have a couple of very specific work-related groups, but you have to be careful who you link with and check the security settings if you don’t want your boss tracking your posts or comments. LinkedIn can be open to the public, but you can limit views of your profile. LinkedIn is not blocked at work but I use my lunch time to use it. My boss thinks that if people are blogging or chatting they don’t have enough work to do. I think it is essential for continuous learning and professional development as well as networking. She would say the same about GovLoop, and generally does not see any social media of any benefit to the government. I agree Facebook is the least useful for professionals in targeting your audience–especially in focusing on work. In fact, I am usually annoyed when someone on Facebook gives a plug for business.

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