Protecting your privacy on LinkedIn

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We’ve talked a lot about Facebook recently, and for good reason. It’s the largest social networking site in the world. But LinkedIn is growing at an even faster rate. Consider LinkedIn a professional version of Facebook. While it’s a great place to connect to other business contacts, it’s not the place to share a lot of personal information. Whether you’re a new or existing member, we’ll talk today about some of the most popular privacy features.

Log into your LinkedIn account. In the upper-right-hand corner, you’ll see your username as a link. There’s a little blue arrow to the left of it. Click on that link and select “Settings” from the drop-down menu. Toward the bottom of the page you’ll see the word “profile” in a menu down in the left-hand corner. That’s where we’ll begin.

-Look under the “Privacy Controls” menu and select “Turn on/off your activity broadcasts.” The box is probably checked, which means your connections can see whenever you change something on your profile. But what if you’re already employed and looking for a different job? Do you want your current employer to know? Unchecking the box will keep your updates private.

-Ever looked at someone else’s LinkedIn page? You may be surprised to find out that person may be able to tell. Click on the “Select what others see when you’ve viewed their profile” option in privacy controls. Here you can choose to display your name and headline, a vague post about your industry and location, or simply as anonymous. Choose the option you feel most comfortable with.

-Next let’s select who can see your activity feed to determine who sees the actions you’ve taken on LinkedIn. We recommend using “your connections” since they are the only people or groups you’ve linked with.

-Our final tip will fall under the “Helpful Links” section. You should see an option that says “Edit your public profile.” Click on that. On the far right side of the page, you’ll see a sidebar where you can customize your public profile. These settings control what others can find out about you or your company. This includes searches on sites like Google and Yahoo.

You can determine which options you want people to be able to see when looking for you. We recommend making your profile public, but restricting the information you’re broadcasting. Select “Basics” for example if you only want people to see your name industry, location, and number of recommendations. From there it’s up to you to decide how much you want to share.

LinkedIn is a great resource, but remember to think of it as a virtual workplace.

For more information on online privacy and security, visit our website, at: www.securitymatters.iu.edu.

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