LinkedIn Privacy and Security Tips

How to stay safe on the social network for professionals

LinkedIn logos
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You may post hundreds of adorable cat videos on Facebook, but when you check in at LinkedIn, you try to keep things professional. LinkedIn is a great place to network with others in your career field and reconnect with some of your favorite former co-workers.

As with any social network site, there are privacy and security issues with LinkedIn. You typically reveal a lot more personal information in your LinkedIn profile than you would in your Facebook profile. Your LinkedIn profile is like a digital resume where you can showcase your talents, share information such as where you've worked, where you've gone to school, and what projects you've worked on throughout your career. The problem is that some of the information in your LinkedIn profile might be dangerous in the wrong hands.

There are things you can do to make your LinkedIn experience a safer one, while still putting yourself out there for potential employers.

Change Your LinkedIn Password Regularly

Like other social networks, LinkedIn has been affected by security breaches in the past. To be safe, you should change your LinkedIn password regularly. If you haven't logged in to LinkedIn in a while, the site may force you to change your password the next time you log in.

To change your LinkedIn password:

  1. Click on your image in the top-right corner of the LinkedIn site after you've logged in.
  2. Choose Settings & Privacy.
  3. Click Change Password.
  4. Type your current password into the field provided.
  5. Type a new password into the two fields provided.
  6. Click Save.

Limit the Contact Information You Share in Your Profile

Business relationships are less personal than those you have on Facebook. You may be more open to letting people into your business social network than you would your Facebook network because you want to meet new business contacts that could help you in your career. This is fine, except you might not want all those people to have your phone number and home address. What if one of your new contacts turns out to be a creepy stalker?

Go to your LinkedIn Profile and remove some of your personal contact information such as your phone numbers and your home address.

To remove your contact info from your LinkedIn public profile:

  1. Click on your image in the upper right corner of LinkedIn.
  2. Select View Profile from the menu.
  3. Scroll through the information and remove your phone number, address, or other contact information.

Turn on LinkedIn's Secure Browsing Mode

LinkedIn offers secure browsing via HTTPS option that is a must-use feature, especially if you use LinkedIn from coffee shops, airports, or anywhere else with public Wi-Fi hotspots where eavesdropping hackers troll with packet-sniffing hacking tools.

To enable LinkedIn's secure browsing mode:

  1. Click on your image in the top right corner of the LinkedIn site.
  2. Click the Settings link from the drop-down menu.
  3. Click the Account tab.
  4. Click Manage Security Settings and then put a check in the box that says When possible, use a secure connection (HTTPS) to browse LinkedIn in the pop-up box that opens.
  5. Click Save Changes.

Note: If you don't see Manage Security Settings, then the secure connection (HTTPS) has already been selected.

Limit Information in Your Public Profile

Even though you might not have contact information in your public profile, there is a lot of other potentially sensitive information that hackers and other internet-based bad guys can glean from it.

Listing the companies you work for or have worked for could help hackers with social engineering attacks against those companies. Listing the college you currently attend in the education section could give someone information about your current whereabouts.

  1. Click on your image in the top right corner of the LinkedIn site after you've logged in.
  2. Click View Profile in the drop-down menu.
  3. Choose the Edit Public Profile & URL link at the top of the right panel.
  4. Click Edit Content.
  5. Make any edits to your profile that may affect your privacy.
  6. Click Save.

Review Your Privacy Control Settings

If you aren't comfortable with people seeing your activity feed or knowing that you've viewed their profile, turn on the anonymous profile viewing mode. This setting is available in Settings & Privacy > Privacy > Profile viewing options.