Paul Skene

Have you looked at your LinkedIn privacy settings lately? LinkedIn has more than 500 million members who are active on the business-focused social networking site and use it for brand building, job hunting, corporate public relations and, of course, networking. No matter what your purpose is, it is a good practice to keep your LinkedIn profile up-to-date with your latest accomplishments, awards and job title.

As with all online accounts, it’s also a good idea to pay a visit to your privacy settings on a regular basis to ensure your private information is hidden. On LinkedIn, the correct privacy settings help deliver the information you wish to share to the intended audience.

There first area to check on is the aptly named privacy tab that resides within your LinkedIn profile. Your LinkedIn privacy settings tab can be accessed by going to If you are using the LinkedIn mobile app, then log into your account and tap your profile image in the upper right corner. Next, tap the gear icon also in the upper right corner, and then choose the privacy tab at the top of the screen.

The first setting to check is your profile visibility. This determines who can see your profile. You can limit your visibility to your connections only, LinkedIn members only, show it to no one or make it completely public, for example. I recommend setting your visibility so all LinkedIn members can see it to take full advantage of the platform as a networking tool. You may want to set it to public, but I like to have an idea of who is looking at my data, so I choose to limit it to members.

To protect your account, enable two-step verification. This uses your smartphone and a verification code to keep your account secure.

Another popular privacy setting is your profile viewing mode. This determines what information other LinkedIn members see about you when you read their profiles. LinkedIn members can see when you’ve viewed their profiles. Adjust your viewing to allow others to see your name, photo and tagline. You can also choose to limit that information to your general job title and location. Alternatively, you can choose to be completely anonymous.

Do you know who can see your connections?  You can stop everyone from seeing who your connections are. Many users look for a common connection before choosing to communicate with you. Consider keeping this information public.

Do you want to share your profile updates with your network? There are more than 10 million job listings on LinkedIn. If you are currently employed and updating your profile to find a new job, then probably not! Even if you are not job hunting, then you may want to set this to off if you are making a lot of edits so you don’t annoy people in your network.

If you are considering a career change, check your location on your account tab. If you are looking to move to a new area, change your zip code to match the area that you want to move to. This helps recruiters find you when they are looking for candidates based on certain geographical areas.

On the communications tab, there is a new feature that allows read receipts. Unless this is turned off, connections can request a read receipt to let them know when you’ve opened a message. They also can see when you are active and typing a reply.

In this same area, check who can send you an invitation to connect. LinkedIn recommends that you allow anyone to send you an invitation to connect. This may be the best choice when you are first starting out. If you are getting too many spammy solicitations, then consider limiting this setting to those who know your email address.

On the “Partners and Third Parties” menu, check which apps are authorized to access your account. Remove apps that you no longer need. Some apps access personal information that is unnecessary and intrusive.

While you are working on your profile, download a backup copy of your profile. And finally, you should scrutinize connections and read profiles before connecting to cut down on spam messages.

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