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How to protect your privacy on LinkedIn

Change settings to control the information available

When it comes to the business social network LinkedIn, adjusting your privacy settings is as important as it is on other networks such as Facebook. We've rounded up some important points to consider when altering your privacy settings on LinkedIn.

If you think that because business social-networking site LinkedIn doesn't let you share as much as information as sites such as Facebook, and the privacy settings are more straightforward, you'd be wrong.

In fact, if you leave LinkedIn's default settings in place, you might be surprised to know what information you make public on LinkedIn. How private you decide to make your LinkedIn information will affect the inquiries you receive for job opportunities as well as, in some cases, the amount of information you're able to find about others.

To access the privacy settings, simply log in to LinkedIn and click on the Account & Settings tab in the upper righthand corner of your home page.

Here's our round-up of the points we think you should pay most attention to as you alter your settings. It's important to know that some of them don't appear under the 'Privacy Settings' area, but nonetheless require your attention.

Your public profile

While the LinkedIn Account and Settings page has a special section marked for privacy, other categories affect the amount of information other people on LinkedIn see when they visit your page or search for your name.

Under 'Profile Settings', you should pay particular attention to the information you make available on your Public Profile. This information may be visible to people who aren't one of your main contacts - known on LinkedIn as 'connections'. In other words, it's information you should feel comfortable for anyone to see.

After clicking on the 'Public Profile' option, you will be taken to a field that allows you to check on (and off) certain aspects of your public LinkedIn profile. The default will make most of your LinkedIn profile information available to everyone, including your picture, work summary, education and past jobs.

Again, the level of information you reveal here might depend on your industry. If you don't want competitors looking at certain information, you should check it off. If you're hoping to find a job on LinkedIn, you should make as much of it available as possible.

Back on the main 'Account and Settings' page, under 'Profile Settings', you can also adjust who sees your LinkedIn status message (which, remarkably, LinkedIn hasn't integrated with Twitter) or your member feed. Your member feed displays all the actions you take on LinkedIn, such as updating your resume or changing a link within your profile. For these, you can click to make it available to your connections, network or everyone.

And, of course, save your changes.

Personal information

As it concerns privacy, there is one feature under the personal information section to consider: 'Name and Location'. Your connections will always see your first and last name, but if you wanted to set it so other people on LinkedIn can't see your full name (just your first name and the initial of your last name), you can do so here.

NEXT PAGE: The privacy section

  1. Change your settings to control the information available
  2. LinkedIn's privacy section
  3. Even more privacy options in LinkedIn

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