With over 300 million members LinkedIn is the business professionals network that connects you to potentially every other business professional around the world. With so many connections how do you protect your own LinkedIn connections whilst making sure that you share only the data you choose to share?
You can get to all of the settings mentioned here by clicking on the Privacy and Settings link under your profile photo in the top right hand corner of the LinkedIn screen.
Sometimes people connect with you only to jump to one of your other existing connections. They scroll down your profile and see the Connections section which tells them how many connections you mutually share and shows a full list of their first degree connections (your second degree connections).
Change the “Who can see your connections” dialog box in the Profile tab. By default this is set to “Your connections”. Change this setting to “Only You”.
If you are uncomfortable about the fact that you rank 126th out of all 126 of your connections on LinkedIn then you can hide this from your contacts.
In the profile tab, click “Turn on/off how you Rank” and uncheck the box.
LinkedIn lets you change permissions on your profile to hide your activity when you update LinkedIn. If you are looking around for a new job you might not want your current employer to find out that you are tidying up your LinkedIn profile in preparation for the move.
In the profile tab click “Turn on/off your activity broadcasts” and uncheck the box. When you have got your profile in tip top shape you can then turn the setting back on and no one will be the wiser.
LinkedIn displays a list of people that have viewed your profile. Sometimes you see a default picture with the caption “LinkedIn member” or “Someone in…”. You can change your settings so that you share only the information that you want to share.
In the Profile tab click “Select What others see when you’ve viewed their profile”.You can show your name and headline, Anonymous profile characteristics, or choose to be totally anonymous.
LinkedIn allows third party companies to use your data such as using the Login using your LinkedIn credentials which appears on some sites. If you grant access to third party apps such as About.me and HootSuite for example, then they have access to your LinkedIn profile and network data.
LinkedIn does not directly share your personal data with any third party. However the advertiser can assume that you are within its target audience if you view or interact with an ad. It can then deliver ads to you.
To stop this go to the Groups, Companies and Applications tab. Click the link to “Turn on/off data sharing with applications”. Uncheck the box to stop sharing your data with third party applications that you have not already interacted with.
LinkedIn plugins are embedded across many sites including ZDNet. The share button is one of the plugins that sends information to LinkedIn that you are looking at the page if you are signed in to LinkedIn at the same time as you view the page. This allows LinkedIn to calculate how many LinkedIn users have shared that page.
To turn it off go to the Groups, Companies and Applications tab and click on the “Manage settings for LinkedIn plugins on third party sites. Uncheck the box.