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Your Privacy and LinkedIn
Posted on March 27th 2014
Don’t want to broadcast your profile update activities? Not ready to share your profile data with potential LinkedIn connections? Don’t want to share your crucial network connections with others?
LinkedIn has always taken its members safety and privacy very seriously. They have continuously delivered high quality features to its members, and in return earned their loyalty and trust. As the LinkedIn community surpassed the 277 million membership mark and the audience became more mature there was a further need for privacy and safety.
Here are few steps that will help you secure your LinkedIn account further and enable you to share information only with people you want to:
- Update your Privacy Setting – Whenever there is a privacy change, we receive a notification first thing when we log in, but how many of us bother to read it? Not many, I would assume.
Here’s the policy in a nutshell – leverage these settings and choose what you want to share, display and receive.
ü Profile Picture – you can choose who views your LinkedIn profile picture – your first degree connections, your network or anyone who views your profile
ü Connection List – you can restrict your connection list view only to yourself and not share it with your first degree connections
ü Activity Broadcasts – uncheck this option if you don’t want to share your profile updates, new connections, companies followed, etc.
ü What People can see after you’ve viewed their Profile – when you view someone’s profile on LinkedIn, they can see your name, photo and headline. You can choose to be an anonymous LinkedIn user and enjoy a higher level of privacy.
- Member Blocking – LinkedIn recently rolled out the much awaited “Member Blocking” feature. In order to block someone you just need to visit their profile, select “Block or report” from the drop down. However, member blocking is a mutual feature. Once you block that person, they won’t be able to view your profile information and vice versa.
The person will not receive any notification upon being blocked and only you will be able to unblock that person.
- Two Step Verification Process – LinkedIn recently launched this two-step verification process which will safeguard your profile from being accessed by another person. The two step process will involve a more robust verification – “knowing something” (usually the password) or “having something” (like a mobile device). The motive behind this process is to minimize identity theft and unauthorized access to critical information.
This Slideshare presentation will help you enable the verification process. The process will require your account password and a numeric code sent to your mobile device via SMS whenever LinkedIn doesn’t recognize your new sign in device.
- Enable Secure Browsing – LinkedIn is currently working on making this a default setting across their website. Presently LinkedIn secures your connection whenever you access a page that contains sensitive information. However, you can choose to turn on the protected connection while viewing all pages throughout LinkedIn.
- Update your Password – ensure that you keep updating your password every few months. Don’t repeat your passwords or add extra characters to it. Pick a new one. A good password will be a mix of numbers, capital letters and lower-case letters and symbols.
- Phishing and Spam Mails – currently, certain emails from LinkedIn contain a security footer that ensures that they are genuine. However, they are working on including it in all their emails. Having said that, security footer does not completely ensure that it is a genuine email. Phishing is the most common trick that cyber criminals will use to information theft.
Any email that prompts immediate action (open an email attachment or install a software), contains poor spelling/grammar, or asks you to take a particular step to keep your account active should raise your suspicion that it is not a legitimate communication. LinkedIn will never ask you to take any such steps. And it is most likely a fraudulent attempt. You can also check by moving your cursor over the link and see where they are directing you to. If you do not see a LinkedIn domain then it was a phishing attempt.
Securing one’s professional data is very crucial for every individual. We can minimize the risk of identity theft and information loss by following these few easy steps. Do leave your privacy and safety feedback regarding LinkedIn in the comments section below.