You may have noticed that LinkedIn's recently rolled out a brand new LinkedIn Privacy & Settings area. And you may be confused, as the changes to this area were pretty significant.
I myself have spent more than a few minutes myself getting familiarized with the new LinkedIn Privacy & Setting area - I'm going to share with you a complete breakdown of LinkedIn's new Privacy & Settings area so you can confidently navigate it like a pro.
Navigate The New LinkedIn Privacy & Settings Area Like A Pro
To access your LinkedIn Privacy & Settings area, hover over your image located in the top right corner of the page and click on Privacy & Settings.
This will open the main Privacy & Settings page.
The first thing you'll notice about the new LinkedIn Privacy & Settings area is that it now resembles the other recently updated areas such as LinkedIn Groups and the LinkedIn Message Center. It has clean look and large, easy to read text.
At the top of the page you'll see your profile image and headline as well as the date you joined LinkedIn and how many connections you have. Just below this you'll see the main navigation, which offers three options - Account, Privacy and Communications.
The Account section is further broken down into three sections - Basics, Third Parties and Subscriptions.
The first section under Basics deals with Email addresses associated with your account. You'll have at least one email address here, which will be your primary email address. In this area you can add a new email address, change the primary email addresses associated with your account or remove an email address from the account.
Under Phone numbers you can add a phone number to your account, just in case you have trouble signing in. People who know your phone number can also use it to find you on LinkedIn.
This is also where you can edit your Password. You can also see the date of the last time you changed your password.
You can quickly and easily change your primary Language.
Clicking on Name, location, and industry will open an older looking page where you can edit your name, how your name is displayed, your headline, location and industry, and badges.
You can keep track of where you've logged in from (and not logged out of) from the Where you're signed in section. Not only can you see where you are currently logged in from but also any other active sessions.
Your Current session includes the following information:
- Approximate location
- IP address
- IP address owner
Active sessions only include information about the approximate location and browser that was used as well as the last date that session was active.
It's a good idea to log out of any active sessions.
NOTE: Logout and contact LinkedIn if there are any current or active sessions that you think are not from you.
To logout of a session, click sign-out and then enter your password.
In the Auto-play videos you can choose if you want videos in your newsfeed to auto-play.
You can actually decide if you want to see the profile photo of other members on LinkedIn. You can change the setting to:
- No one
- Your connections
- Your network
I'd recommend leaving this on Everyone as the image can help you decide if they look like a real person or spam account.
The final area under Basics is the Getting an archive of your data. Here you can have LinkedIn provide you with your archived data including things like your messages, connections and imported contacts.
If you click on this, you'll first be asked to log in again. You'll then be taken to a screen where you can request your data archive.
All you have to do is click on the blue button Request archive on the right. You'll then be provided with a partial file to download within a few minutes and then a complete archive in 24 hours.
The second section under Account has to do with anything related to third party access to your information through LinkedIn.
When you click on Third party apps, you're taken to an older looking page where you can see all of the apps that you have authorized to access LinkedIn. To remove any of these apps, simply check the box beside it and hit the Remove button at the bottom of the page.
The Twitter settings allow you to add or remove one or more Twitter accounts from your LinkedIn account.
In the WeChat settings area, you can add and remove a WeChat account.
Under Subscriptions you can either subscribe to (purchase) a Premium LinkedIn subscription or manage your existing subscription if you are already a Premium member.
You may also close your LinkedIn account in this section.
The Privacy area is broken in to four sections - Profile privacy, Blocking and hiding, Data privacy and advertising, and Security.
This section is dedicated to helping you control how your profile is shared with your connections, fellow LinkedIn members and the general public.
Under Edit your public profile, you can change how your profile appears to the general public (people not in your network) and search engines.
Here you can customize your vanity URL as well as select which parts of your profile you'd like the public and search engines to be able to see. Generally, I'd recommend that you make most of the sections in your profile visible to everyone. Remember that you want your potential prospects and partners to be able to find you.
When you click on Who can see your connections, you can choose whether Your connections or Only you can see your list of connections. I'd recommend leaving this set to your connections.
You can choose whether or not you want people to see how you rank compared to your connections. Keep in mind that if you turn this off, you won't be able to see how you compare to others, which can be useful information when looking for ways to improve your profile.
This section is also where you'll find the Viewers of this profile also viewed setting. This is one of the few settings I generally recommend that you switch off.
When this feature's on, people who are viewing your profile will see a list of LinkedIn members that other people have also looked at, when looking for someone like you. Having this on your profile can lead people off your profile page and on to your competitor's profiles.
You can also change your Sharing profile edits setting here.
There are times when you'll want this turned on and times when you don't. For example, you would want it turned off when you are looking for a new job (unless you aren't concerned if your existing employer knows) or if you are doing a lot of changes. A time when you might want to turn this setting on is after you get a new job and want to share it with your connections.
Change what others see when you view their profile with the Profile Viewing Options. As you'll often be viewing potential prospects or partners, I'd recommend leaving this set as Your name and headline.
It's also worth noting that if you set this to Private mode, your viewer history will be erased.
LinkedIn will notify your network when you're mentioned in a blog post or article dependent on your Notifying connections when you're in the news setting. I'd leave this set as Yes, as you're not likely to be mentioned in other people's blog posts unless you're an expert on your topic - and this is a great way to increase your authority with your network.
Blocking And Hiding
Under the Blocking and hiding section you can manage who you've blocked and who can see your public updates.
Under the Followers setting you can select who can see your public updates - Everyone on LinkedIn or Your connections.
I absolutely recommend you leave this as Everyone on LinkedIn. You want your updates to be able to be shared beyond your current connections as this is one way for more opportunities to find you. If you change it to Your connections, you'll also lose all of your out-of-network followers - which are a great source of warm prospects.
There may have been times when you have need to block someone. Under the Blocking section, you can see and manage this list. Here you can view the names of the people that you have blocked, how long ago you blocked them and the ability to unblock them.
In the Unfollowed section you can see who you have unfollowed as well as being able to refollow them here.
Data Privacy and Advertising
If you want to control who can find you and how your information is shared with third parties, you can do this in the Data privacy and advertising section.
Choose whether you want people to see you as a suggested connection when they already have your email address in the settings section, Suggesting you as a connection based on your email address. You can choose from:
- Everyone on LinkedIn
- 2nd-degree connections
I'd recommend setting this as everyone as these people already have your email address, so they either know you or they have taken the time to do a little research on you.
Note: This does NOT automatically make them a connection. They must still send you a connection request and you can choose whether to accept or decline it.
Similarly, you can also choose if you'd like to allow LinkedIn to suggest you as a connection to people who have your phone number under the Suggesting you as a connection based on your phone number section. Again, chances are good that they know you or are at the very least interested in reaching out to you. Even if you set this to Everyone on LinkedIn, they still have to send you an invite and you can choose whether or not you wish to accept.
If you connect your profile to your employer's company page in the Experience section of your profile, you can choose if you'd like to hide your profile image and info that is visible from their company page in the Representing your organization section.
Under Sharing data with third parties, you can choose if you'd like to allow LinkedIn to share your basic profile information with third party applications or platforms. While these are applications and platforms that are trusted by LinkedIn, I would generally recommend setting both to No.
If you'd like to allow LinkedIn to personalize ads for you (using cookies), you can allow this in the Advertising preferences.
You can add an extra layer of security to your profile with Two-step verification.
You'll need to add a phone number to activate this feature. Once this is set up, every time you log in LinkedIn will text you a pin code, which you must enter to finish the login process.
Most of what you manage in the Communications area will be based on your personal preferences around receiving emails or messages. This is how LinkedIn, your connections and other LinkedIn members can communicate with you.
While you don't want to be bombarded with communications, you do want to make it easy for potential prospects to reach out to you and for you to receive any other important or relevant messages.
In this section you can modify the types and frequency of emails that you get from LinkedIn as well as who can send you connection requests or messages.
When you click on the Email frequency setting, you'll be taken to another page where you can turn on or off the types of emails you get from LinkedIn as well as set the frequency with which you receive them.
The types of emails you can manage include:
- Invitations (connection requests)
- Messages (from other LinkedIn members)
- Network updates
- Job and opportunities
- Group updates
- Messages from LinkedIn (tips and offers)
In most cases, regarding frequency you can set it as Recommended, Daily Emails or Weekly Emails. Try changing these to find out which frequency works best for you.
Under the Who can send you invitations section, you can modify who can send you invites including:
- Everyone on LinkedIn
- Only people who know your email address or appear in your "Imported Contacts" list
- Only people who appear in your "Imported Contacts" list
I recommend that you leave this set to everyone, as this is a social platform and you don't want to hamper potential prospects or partners from being able to connect with you.
In the Messages from members section, you can set what kind of messages you'd like to receive from people you are not connected to, such as:
- Introductions, InMail, and Open Profile messages
- Introductions and InMail only
- Introductions only
I'd generally recommend that you leave this set as Introductions, InMail, and Open Profile messages, as again you don't want to make it difficult for a potential connection or other person of interest to reach out to you.
With LinkedIn's current InMail structure, people are less likely to send out low quality or spammy InMails. Most people will benefit from being able to receive InMails.
You'll only be sent Open Profile messages if you're a Premium member and have actively selected this option. The benefit of Open Profile messages is that it is much easier for people to reach out and get in touch with you.
In the section you can also check off what kind of InMail messages you are most interested in receiving as well as adding custom advice for those looking to contact you.
In the Groups area you can set how different groups can communicate with you.
In the Group invitations section, you can choose whether or not you would like to allow people to invite you to their groups.
You can choose if you'd like LinkedIn to automatically publish an update when you join a new group in the Group notifications section.
Under the LinkedIn messages area, you can control how LinkedIn contacts you for other purposes.
If you're open to receiving an invitation to participate in research on LinkedIn, you can select Yes in the Participate in research setting.
Control whether or not you'd like to receive LinkedIn Sponsored InMails, in the Partner inMail section.
Go To Previous Version Of Settings
If you find you're still not comfortable using the new LinkedIn Privacy & Settings area, at the bottom of each page you will find a link that will take you back to the old version. Just click the link that says Go to previous version of Settings.
I hope this breakdown of the new LinkedIn Privacy & Settings has you feeling more familiar and confident in setting up the privacy and communications settings of your account.
Keep in mind that LinkedIn is a social network and the point is to be social. Aggressively clamping down on your privacy and communications setting will not benefit your ability to find or be found by potential prospects or partners, which is ultimately the point of using LinkedIn.
What do you think of these changes LinkedIn has made to Privacy and Settings? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
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