Security 101: How To Avoid LinkedIn Jail, Locked Accounts & Social Ban πŸ”

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Security 101: How To Avoid LinkedIn Jail and Social Ban πŸ”

How to Avoid Getting Your Account Restricted 🚫

"How to avoid LinkedIn jail?". "How to avoid getting locked out of Instagram?". "Facebook locked me once, and I fear losing my precious account." Sounds familiar, right?

People repeatedly ask these same questions when it comes to social media automation.

This question is a legitimate concern. A tiny little detail could get you locked out of your account.

Worse: you could face permanent restriction, forever.

The thing is, no one would spend more than a few hours per day automating their social media accounts.

Automation is safe if done sparingly. The key is to mimic genuine human actions as much as possible.

So is automating all your prospecting workday risky? How to ensure your safety on social media and avoid a ban? Let's find out.

How Social Media Companies Monitor Your Online Activity?

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LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, and all social networks check any suspicious activity, including automation. Therefore, they effectively detect fake accounts, bots, or any automation.

If you fail to respect their community standards, you might get locked.

You can use safe Linkedin automation tools like TexAu. But first, you should respect the following basic security rules.

When you automate your accounts, social platforms will watch the following:

  • Chrome extensions. Most inject code on web pages. Cloud-based tools are safer.
  • Your LinkedIn profile login credentials (cookies).
  • Email address.
  • Phone number.
  • Identity: If your profile looks like a real person.
  • Your location & IP address (between home, work, and vacation).
  • Devices ID (connected mobiles, laptops, workstations).
  • Click, scroll, navigate, and mouse track.
  • The number of actions and navigation history.
  • Delays between actions.
  • Excessive page requests, loading too many profile pages.
  • Posts content.
  • Personal messages response rates.
  • If you send personalized messages, don't spam generic messages.
  • Your connection request acceptance rate. Withdraw regularly pending invites.
  • Membership level. LinkedIn is more forgiving if you have a Premium or Sales Navigator account.
  • Any Illegal activity or inappropriate content violating community guidelines and terms of service.

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To prevent any trouble, common sense 🧠 always applies:

For example, can you be in two different places simultaneously? NO 🚫

Can you be at home browsing on your IP and then all of a sudden be 100 km away in less than 30 seconds? NO 🚫

Can you open two LinkedIn profiles pages at the same time? Scrolling, clicking, and navigating on both pages simultaneously with the same computer? NO 🚫

Can you be on your mobile and scrolling on your laptop browser simultaneously? NO 🚫 (ok, physically this is possible, but still, it's a NO-NO 🚫)

Can you send connection requests at the same time you are navigating (scraping) each page of a profile search filter on the same Linkedin account? NO 🚫

Do you send the same message over and over to all your prospects without personalizing it? NO 🚫

Can humans visit and scrape a website at an exact regular interval, every x minutes? NO 🚫

Are you supposed to post 24/7 and even at night when everybody is sleeping in your timezone and location??? NO 🚫

Can you run two automation workflow simultaneously using the same cookies??? NO 🚫

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It's all about logic common sense here. You don't need to be a computer science genius to understand these simple rules. And this will save your ass.

Now in the facts, how to translate that for TexAu or any social media and LinkedIn automation tools?

  • Don't operate any automation tools in the cloud without using any PROXY (more on this later). Period.
  • Always use a good quality proxy (residential or 4G).

Your proxy location should be the closest to your actual physical location.

The average distance from home to work is a good reference (300 km range). Vacation is an exception. If so, then put your social media automation on vacation too).

The closer to your current location, the better. Don't choose a US proxy because it sounds nice if you live in India. It seems obvious, but you better be safe than sorry. You'll find a list of reputable proxy providers at the end of this post.

  1. Don't browse, click, scroll, navigate on social media while you run automation. For example, don't browse LinkedIn profiles while you automate. Instead, let it process until the end, or check your account between pauses. NEVER do both at the same time.
  2. Don't browse social media on your mobile phone while automation is running. Just don't. Even if you use Wi-Fi tethering mode and use your 4G/5G network on your laptop. This is the same logic as scrolling two tabs simultaneously on your computer.
  3. Add random delays all over the place and, if possible, build your workflows. What happens if everybody uses the same automation? For example, social platforms may trigger a pattern. Either run standalone automation once in a while. Better: build your workflows and schedule them in advance (more on this later). You can start importing a public template to see how to create one. The best thing is still to build your workflows. Doing so will allow you to be less predictable and fall under social media platforms' radar.

Linkedin:

Space every message or inMail after connection request. You can randomly increase from 3, 5, 10 days and alternate between each pause.

Example:

Day 1: connect
⏰ Wait 3 Days
Day 4: send message #1
⏰ Wait 5 Days
Day 9: send message #2
⏰ Wait 10 Days
Day 19: send the last message.

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Remove all pending invite at least once every three weeks to stay below 1000β€”the closest to zero, the better.

Twitter/Instagram:

Space all follow/unfollow sequences by a delay of 15 days or more between each.

All other platforms:

Be very careful with click-based automation: everything ranging from clicks, auto-likes, endorsement, and such. Do not proceed to more than ten automated actions per hour with those.

Example:

10 profiles, one like each or ten post likes on one profile. These actions are the easiest to detect on social platforms.

  1. Personalize all your connection requests and messages as much as you can. If not, platforms will think it sounds like a bot, and your prospects too.
  2. Limits. TexAu applies default safety limits by default. Those are on the low and safe side of the spectrum for good reasons. You don't need or should never change those settings, except if you know what you are doing. You can find this setting in your dashboard here: https://app.texau.com/configure-limits.

Related pages:

ο»ΏScheduled Automation - Part One: Regular Scheduling

ο»ΏScheduled Automation - Part Two: Advanced Scheduling

Social Account Age & Warmup

This point is critical and will determine your automation limits: social account age.

A new and fresh fake account will always hit the limit faster than an old-aged and warmed-up account. This is also how social platforms enforce bot detection.

Linkedin VS Sales Navigator: Account Plan Matters

If you are B2B and go after startups, medium-sized businesses, or corporate prospects, LinkedIn is King.

And to be frank, free Linkedin is very limited compared to Sales Navigator.

I encourage you to use Sales Navigator for three reasons:

  • First, Linkedin is much more tolerant to automation on a paid account (premium or Sales Navigator).
  • Limits are higher than on the free plan, and you can process more automation and extract more data with it.
  • The search filters are much better and return access to more valuable data like company revenue, headcount growth, and detailed prospect information. Much more granular.

What's The Difference Between TexAu Desktop and Cloud?

It's the same application with a few notable differences from TexAu Desktop App:

  • No proxy support, only run locally on your computer.
  • No Webhooks support.
  • No team management feature
  • You cannot run it if your computer is in sleep mode or shut down.
  • Easier to use for starters who don't want to deal with proxies (mandatory in the cloud).

Proxies vs. VPNs

One of the questions people often ask:

πŸ€” Does TexAu needs proxies to be safe?

πŸ€” Aren't VPNs and Proxies the same?

πŸ€” Why do I need proxies in the cloud.

πŸ€” What are the different proxy types, and what should I choose?

πŸ€” Where can I buy proxies, and how much does it cost?

πŸ€” Is the Desktop app safer since it reveals our real IP and location?

πŸ€” Is it better to use proxies or dummy accounts to avoid losing our real accounts?

πŸ€” How to manage several clients in different locations?

πŸ€” Can we install the desktop app in the cloud?

Does TexAu Web Version Need Proxies to be Safe?

Yes, you ONLY need those if you use TexAu cloud-based version in your browser.

Desktop App doesn't need proxies because it's using your IP address. So starters should always begin on the Desktop App.

Far too many people launch their first automation in the cloud without proxies.

If you do, please STOP immediately. Otherwise, you are putting your social accounts at risk. Better be safe than sorry. Use the Desktop App instead or buy a good proxy.

What's the Difference between VPNs and Proxies? Aren't They the Same Afterall?

Simple answer: NO

In short: "VPN is to hide your IP while Proxies is to hide TexAu's server IPs".

While the reality is more complex, the above explanation is a good analogy.

A proxy only uses a specific port from your network to process automation in the cloud.

With a VPN, all your internet traffic goes through the same VPN IP address.

  • You can use a proxy from social media and keep your internet connection for daily browsing.
  • With a VPN, all your connections pass through the VPN, and all sites you browse will see the VPN IP as your IP.

In the cloud, you MUST use proxies for social media automation.

Here are a few reasons why:

  • Most VPN IPs are trash, even if sold as β€œdedicated”. This is because most VPNs use shared IPs between all the VPN service users.
  • VPN IPs are often low-quality data center IPs. Moreover, those are easy to detect from social platforms.

PROXY

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When using a proxy:

  1. one port from your machine connects to:
  2. Texau Servers which will then connect to:
  3. The Proxy Server close to your actual location that connects to:
  4. The Social Platforms

In this scenario, you can still connect other websites with your real IP. Here, the proxy only serves your social media automation needs.

The goal is to connect your account from a location close enough to your actual location (your proxy).

VPN

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If you are using a VPN, ALL your internet traffic transits through a VPN tunnel.

All the sites you browse, including TexAu and Social Platforms, will see the VPN service IP as yours. And this is an issue since many people will use the same IPs.

  1. Most VPNs have shared IPs. You will often end up sharing your IP with them. So, in short, you are also the product. Don't fool yourself with the so-called "Premium VPNs". They probably aren't.
  2. Those are easily detectable and often blocked because of their terrible quality.
  3. Doing such is putting your social accounts AT RISK, don't do it.

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"What about using a VPN instead because I live in a country that blocks most social networks?". In that case, connect exclusively with a proxy. Even for daily browsing, under the same proxy as you use with TexAu. More on this below."

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There is an exception to the use of VPNs on the Desktop app:

"But do I have to worry if I scrape lots of Google Maps, Google Search, or Youtube data under my IP with the TexAu Desktop app? Could it trigger a warning or captchas, no?"

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The only exception to this rule is if you plan to use the TexAu Desktop app to scrape an extensive list of URLs. If running a more "industrial" data extraction 24/7, then yes, you can use a VPN with a rotating IP on the Desktop ONLY.

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THE ONLY AUTOMATION WHERE YOU CAN USE UNDER A VPN SAFELY ARE:

  • Google Search
  • Google Maps
  • Google Trends
  • Youtube
  • Reddit
  • Craiglist

FOR ALL THE OTHER CASES: NEVER USE A VPN.

Don't forget to switch the VPN OFF if you launch any automation on your social accounts after that!!!

Don't run both in parallel. You have to choose here:

Running a Google Maps scraping automation under a VPN. βœ…

Only social media automation without a VPN on the Desktop app or under a proxy in the cloud. βœ…

Never do both at the same time using a VPN!

Using a VPN for social media automation on the Desktop app is the same as using TexAu cloud (browser version) without proxies. Just don't do this.

Why do you need proxies in the cloud?

As we saw before, you cannot use a VPN to ensure your safety on social media. But what happens if you don't use proxies?

Let's say you live in France like me and that TexAu servers location is in the USA.

You connect through TexAu servers and automate your social accounts from their IPs. Then, one hour after that, you browse Facebook from home.

Is crossing the Atlantic ocean in less than one hour sounds plausible? Hell no.

Same as before, if it's not humanly possible, don't do it.

You need an internet connection from a real ISP to automate social networks.

Something like:

  • A residential connection (home)
  • corporate network (work) or a
  • 4G mobile connection (phone carrier).

Also, the proxy location should be CLOSE TO WHERE YOU LIVE (or your client).

The same kind of internet connection you use every day.

That's the only way to cover your tracks when automating in the cloud.

If you feel uncomfortable with this setup, please use TexAu Desktop App instead.

What are the Different Proxy Types, and What should I Choose?

There are three main types of proxies:

  • Datacenter
  • Residential
  • 4G or LTE

Datacenter Proxies

These are the lowest quality proxies you can get. Yet, they are cheap and available in high quantities. The downside is: that they are easy to detect. Those belong to the same server farms' IP ranges and are easily identifiable.

For example, Digital Ocean IP ranges are well known, like most cloud providers (AWS, etc...). So you can find those IPs on the internet:

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Datacenter proxies may be acceptable to automate fake social accounts. But surely not to automate your personal account with it. You need a static residential proxy for this.

"Dedicated IPs" or "Elite Private Proxies" is marketing jargon, not proof of safety. Most of the time, it's nothing more than data center IPs. So invest in a good one and do your due diligence to compare the offers.

Residential Proxies and 4G

Residential proxies are IPs owned by actual ISPs (Internet Service Providers). Every IP (IPv4 or IPv6) existing in the world belongs to the five regions (continents) below. Those are the Regional Internet Registries or RIR:

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Under those RIR, you'll find the NIRs (National Internet Registries). Then below that, the LIRs (Local Internet Registries).

And finally, under each of those, you'll find the ISPs and the End Users (EU): Me, You, Corporations, Datacenters, Hosting Companies, etc...

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Good residential proxies are coming from ISPs. Those are for consumers (home) or corporations (work).

Those IPs are not the same as those used by hosting companies, data centers, etc.

They don't share the same requirements (you need one home IP, they manage millions).

There are many different types of ISPs:

  • Access providers: the most commonly used by simple mortals like you and me. The ones we need to get a Residential Proxies for TexAu.
  • Hosting ISPs: hosting companies that offer email, FTP, and hosting services.
  • Transit ISPs: "ISPs for ISPs" (yes, ISPs need ISPs too to get access to the internet)
  • Virtual ISPs: Virtual ISP (VISP, also called "wholesale ISPs"). Those are other IPs that ISPs lease or buy from other ISPs.
  • Free ISPs: Free ISPs, often called freenets (nonprofit) - anecdotal.

Source:

The type of proxies you need for TexAu are Residential proxies. The ones that belong to the first category: the Access Providers.

Residential Proxies also include mobile 4G/LTE proxies.

The Advantage of Using 4G mobile Proxies

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4G proxies are also residential proxies since ISP-owned mobile carriers deliver those IPs.

One advantage of 4G Proxies: those aren't detectable. Providing their IP location is close to you, of course.

Why?

Because all devices connecting to a 4G antenna share the same IP pool. Each device in a neighborhood will at some point share the same IP, but not simultaneously. IPs will rotate between all the devices connecting to the same 4G antenna.

4G proxies use rotating IPs by design. So, in theory, no social network can know whether it's you or your neighbor connecting to that website.

These proxies are generally pricey compared to static residential proxies.

By their nature, those proxies blend well with social media automation.

What's the Difference Between Private/Dedicated or Shared Proxies?

Easy: one IP is assigned to you, and only you.

On the other hand, shared proxies mean sharing those IPs with other users. If they spam, you'll be detected as a spammer too. BAD 🚫

You want dedicated proxies for social media automation.

What's the Difference Between Static and Rotating IP Proxies?

The difference is simple: static proxies don't change IP over time.

Some proxies switch their IP every new request (for every page load). Others proxies will change IP every x minutes.

You will often hear the term "backconnect proxies" for rotating proxies. But, again, you don't need those.

You might also hear the term "sequential IPs". Those refer to IP pools in the same IP range. But, again, those are of no interest to us and are only for rotating proxies.

For social media automation, we want static IPs: one residential proxy per account set (one for all your accounts, like you at home).

One exception from the above is 4G proxies.

What's the Difference Between HTTP/HTTPS and SOCKS PROXIES

Aside from the above proxy qualification, two types of proxy connection protocol exist:

  1. HTTP/HTTPS
  2. SOCKS/SOCKS4/SOCKS5 Proxies

For TexAu, it's easy. You will only need HTTP proxies with authentication (not HTTPS!). Why?

SOCKS proxies cannot interpret front-end website data that TexAu collects.

Those use the SOCKet Secure protocol used in P2P (peer-to-peer) apps. We don't need those.

You can check this excellent article from Oxylabs here for more details:

Password Authentification

Last part: to connect your proxy, you need password authentification. Otherwise, anyone could access your proxy, and you don't want that.

Do you need proxies for Google or Craiglist scraping on TexAu cloud? No, you don't. Why? Because TexAu cloud already uses scraping proxies on their end for this application. This use case is the only exception here. Otherwise, you should use proxies for all social media automation.

How Much Data Transfer Should I Need For a Proxy?

Most services bill per Gigabytes. Some have unmetered traffic (uncapped, unlimited data transfer and bandwidth).

If you automate sparingly, let's say only one LinkedIn account, then 2 Gb per month should be enough.

On the other hand, if you automate many social accounts for clients, opt for 5 or 10 Gb and above.

Where can I buy proxies, and how much does it cost?

The proxy business is often very opaque. And from a quality standpoint, you usually get what you pay for.

So if you want quality proxies, you will have to buy from a reputable provider or build one yourself.

For instance, you can build an excellent DIY Raspberry PI proxy. Secure, cheap, and reliable hosted on a separate subnet (subnetwork) of your home router.

We won't cover this method in this tutorial because it's for techies only.

So we will only explore the commercial proxies options here.

A proxy for one dedicated IP and one set of personal social accounts ranges between $10 a month to $100.

You can find a list of well-known providers here below:

How to Test Your Proxy IP Spam Score

When you buy proxies, one thing to always do is to check if they don't belong to a spam database.

Today most IPv4 IPs have already been used in some way or another. IPv4 hit their theoretical maximum number limit as defined by their protocol. The latter also explains their higher cost over IPv6 proxies: rarity.

So it's always a good idea to check your proxy IP history.

If the blocklist check returns too much history spam, ask your proxy provider to allocate you a new IP.

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Is it better to use proxies or dummy accounts to avoid losing our real accounts?

Better? No. It's a matter of circumstance and uses cases.

Do you want to mass extract data in the least amount of time possible and exceed the limits?

Then create dummy accounts under separate proxies and use the same proxy to manage them until they die. Rinse and repeat at will.

But that means using A LOT of proxies adding up to your expenses. And those new accounts will have more chances to get banned without proper care.

β€œBut what about creating dummy accounts under your real IP since we are it, right?”

Well, that's probably the worst thing you could do. It will compromise all the other accounts and those connecting to the same network as youβ€”a bad idea.

Do you want to automate your social account within limits? Then, you can safely do so under your IP.

Want to do crazy things in high volume? Use dummy accounts under proxies. But it will cost you a lot of money and require discipline. A discipline most aren't capable of keeping.

How to manage multiple clients in multiple locations?

For managing many clients in different locations, you will need separate proxies. For example, one proxy for each account you manage, according to their location.

But how to do so? Thankfully, free and handy tools do exist like Proxy Switchy Omega Chrome Extension:

ο»ΏProxy SwitchyOmegaο»Ώ

This extension allows you to add all your proxies and manage them in your browser. Moreover, you can switch between all your proxies and accounts in separate tabs like that. Very handy.

A better alternative to consider would be to use a browser profiles management system that can generate unique fingerprints and supports proxies.

One we can definitely recommend is Incogniton, free for 10 chrome profiles:

ο»ΏHome - Incognitonο»Ώ

If you want to learn more about it, you can read the guide below:

ο»ΏProxies & Multi-Account Management

Is the desktop app safer since it reveals our current IP location?

For your legit account, yes, it is safer. Why?

Because if you don't use your IP to spam people, it will always be cleaner than most proxies around.

And if you have no experience with proxies, it's better if you want to stay on the safe side.

Many people complain that they need to pay for proxies to access TexAu automation in the cloud.

  • We have a desktop app for this.
  • Proxies are cheap if needed, but we are not a proxy provider.

You might hear many people who never got an issue connection without proxies. But those are more the exception than the rule.

Don't cry if you get into trouble if it happens to you after that. We told you so.

At least we give people a choice.

The only limitation of using the TexAu Desktop app is proxy access here.

Suppose you want to extract high data volume from Google (maps, search, trends, Youtube) and Craiglist. Then you might use a VPN with rotating IPs on your local computer. Some allow changing their IP every x minutes. Else, use the cloud version with proxies.

Can we install the desktop app in the cloud?

Yes. You can install TexAu Desktop App on a windows VPN. But there are some tradeoffs you might not take into account:

The Desktop App has no proxy option. If you host it on a server, your accounts will connect from a generic data center IP. This cannot ensure the best possible way to keep your social account safe.

Datacenter proxies might be ok for fake accounts but not safe to automate your real account.

You won't have Webhooks either. So you can not trigger automation from external software outside TexAu.

While technically you can install TexAu Desktop App in a Windows VPS hosted on AWS, Digital Ocean, etc... you won't get any real benefit outside closing your computer and letting it run in the cloud.

But again, without proxy support, you are better off using the Desktop App locally at home.

There is also a possibility to "port forward" this whole setup to your home router IP. It's like building yourself a VPN routing the server IP to your home network.

Still, the cost will probably outsmart the benefit. Aside from the technical hassle and potential security issues if not done right:

  • You will still have to pay for your server anyway.
  • It will cost more or less the same to buy a decent proxy instead πŸ˜‰.

Conclusion

Sales automation is not about collecting millions of leads and spamming people. Instead, it's all about creating hyper-targeted sales funnels.

TexAu can automate the tedious part of prospecting: research, data enrichment, and outreach.

Automation is only 50% of the work. Making it look authentic or captivating is the hard part. And this is all about you, not the tool.

Last, social media automation also requires real DISCIPLINE.

It's tempting to click that button to launch your first automation.

But first, read on and learn you are dealing with your social account here.

If you follow and apply most of the rules in this tutorial without exceeding the limits, you'll be fine.

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Updated 14 May 2022
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