Privacy on LinkedIn has long stood a prickly topic. Privacy settings have ballooned from 9 in 2012 to 27 settings at the last count (a 200% increase).
The Microsoft acquisition has also resulted in new settings (related to Outlook and MS Word/Resume Assistant) and innovative new features on LinkedIn (for example ‘typing indicator’ in messenger and ‘active status’ on desktop/mobile) which have further increased the plethora of choices on display.
In order to provide a comprehensive but actionable guide in this newsletter, I have focused on the most important settings which you will be able to implement in 30mins.
Step-by-step privacy guide
1. Do Not Sync Your Phone / Email Contacts
Unless you wish to receive targeted advertising…
2. Avoid Adverts Appearing in Your Messages
LinkedIn’s advertisers can send sponsored content through InMail but, no fear, you can actually block those messages and not lose out: You can still receive ordinary InMail messages (or can stop these as well if you prefer).
3. Ensure your Account Stays Outside the Hands of Hackers
Step up your security a stage further by enabling “two-step verification.” When you enable this feature, LinkedIn will send you a verification code through a SMS or ia an app to confirm your identity when someone unusual tries access your account (eg. from a diffreent IP address / location)
4. Choose not to be Subject to 3rd Party Research
LinkedIn allows third-party researchers to use data from your account to “research social, economic and workplace trends.”
NB. Even if you do turn off this setting, de-identified data may still be shared with external researchers.
5. Are You Sending Your Data to Microsoft?
Did you connect your LinkedIn and Microsoft accounts to allow you to access LinkedIn information via Microsoft’s other apps and services?
If so, Microsoft may use your profile info, connections and data about your interests for targeted promotions.
Conversely, LinkedIn receives information from Microsoft, such as your contacts. Do take advantage of the ability to disengage these accounts.
6. Say “No” to 3rd Party Services
Did you know that you can also connect LinkedIn to third-party services to make it easier to do tasks like filling out online job applications and using social media management tools?
However, the more accounts you link, the more vulnerable you are to a data breach. It’s prudent to check whether you’ve given other services access to your LinkedIn data and withdraw any permissions that are no longer valuable to you or required.
7. Ensure that the Ads You See Aren’t an Identical Reflection of You
You have no choice on LinkedIn as to whether you see adverts but you can limit the number of targeted ones that reach you. Turning off each ad page toggle will bolster your LinkedIn privacy.
Eg. you might want to keep seeing promotions tied to businesses that you follow and your job history but turn off ads based on location.
8. Viewers Of This Profile Also Viewed
NEVER HAVE THIS ON! Not just for privacy reasons but this sends LinkedIn profile viewers to your competitors.
And as a final flourish…
If you ever receive messages containing links (especially shortened links) claiming to get you more connections or job opportunities, do not click on them. We recommend reporting and blocking the user behind them.
I hope that you found these LinkedIn tips useful. If so, do click on the 🔔 on my profile to be notified of my new posts and follow #Trevisan to see LinkedIn strategy tips that amplify your presence here in your feed.
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