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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.

The all-important privacy section

Now that we've got those other areas out of the way, we've arrived at the actual privacy settings. Unlike most social networks that solely rely on advertisements for their revenue streams, LinkedIn sells premium services to individuals and organisations looking to utilise the vast database of LinkedIn user data.

In general, LinkedIn does a good job of keeping your information anonymous as it relates to market research. That said, it's important to remember LinkedIn is running a business, and the power of its business relies on access to your data.

Research Surveys

LinkedIn allows companies to ask questions of the LinkedIn user base. While the information for such a survey is completely private, you have the option to turn it off (it's a basic 'yes' or 'no' switch). Since I've never touched this setting before, and it was clicked to 'yes', I assume that's the default for you as well.

Connections browse

By clicking 'yes', all your connections can view your list of connections. Unless you are worried about competitors sniping contacts from your LinkedIn list, I'd recommend you leave this setting on. There is nothing more anti-social on a social network than not revealing who you are connected to on the service.

LinkedIn likes to inform users that people in their industry have viewed their LinkedIn profile (this information appears in a widget down the right column of your home page).

For this, there are three options. LinkedIn's default setting allows other users to know someone visited their profile page, but only by industry and general title - not your actual name. You can set it so they know you specifically visited, but I'd avoid that option if you value anonymous web-browsing.

You can also just turn it off entirely, so no information is broadcasted to other LinkedIn users when your visit their profile. That's what I've chosen.

Profile photos

Pretty straightforward. You can decide to see the photos of your connections, your network, or everyone on LinkedIn. I see no down side to the latter option if you like a more humanised experience on the web.

NEXT PAGE: Even more privacy options to consider

  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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