LinkedIn Privacy and Security Tips

How to stay safe on the social network for professionals

LinkedIn logos
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LinkedIn is a social network for professionals, allowing users to connect with others, grow their careers, and take their work lives more seriously.

As with any social network site, LinkedIn has privacy and security issues. In your LinkedIn profile, you've likely divulged important personal information, such as where you've worked, where you went to school, and various projects you've participated in. If this information got into the wrong hands, you're at risk for identity theft, fraud, corporate espionage, and more.

Here are some simple tips to keep your LinkedIn experience safe and productive.

In addition to security risks, LinkedIn poses reputational risks for users. How you represent yourself reflects on current and former employers and sends a message to future employers. Share and post only highly credible information in a professional manner.

Change Your LinkedIn Password Regularly

Like other social networks, LinkedIn has been affected by security breaches in the past. To be safe, 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. Select the image in the top-right corner of the LinkedIn site.

  2. Select Settings & Privacy.

    Screenshot of LinkedIn Settings and Privacy tab
  3. Select Account.

    Screenshot of LinkedIn's Account settings page
  4. Select Change Password.

    Screenshot of LinkedIn's Change Password page
  5. Type your current password into the field provided.

  6. Type a new password and then retype it to confirm.

  7. Select Save. Your password has been changed.

Limit Contact Information in Your Profile

Business relationships are less personal than those you have on Facebook. While you may be eager to connect with potential contacts who could help your career, it's important to maintain privacy. For example, your address and phone number shouldn't be publicly visible.

To remove your contact info from your LinkedIn public profile:

  1. Select your image in the upper right corner of LinkedIn.

  2. Select View Profile from the menu.

  3. Select Contact Info.

  4. Select the Edit (pen) icon.

  5. Remove your phone number, address, or any other information you'd rather not be visible.

  6. Select Save. Your personal information has been removed.

Turn on LinkedIn's Secure Browsing Mode

LinkedIn offers secure browsing and this feature is a must, especially if you access LinkedIn from coffee shops, airports, or anywhere else with public Wi-Fi hotspots.

To enable LinkedIn's secure browsing mode:

  1. Select your image in the top right corner of the LinkedIn site.

  2. Select the Settings and Privacy link from the drop-down menu.

  3. Select the Account tab.

  4. Select Manage Security Settings.

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

  5. 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.

  6. Select Save Changes. Now, you'll access LinkedIn via a secure connection.

Limit Information in Your Public Profile

Even though you might not have contact information in your public profile, there's a lot of other potentially sensitive information that hackers could learn.

Listing the companies you work for or have worked for might 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.

Here's how to edit your public profile:

  1. Select your image in the top right corner of the LinkedIn site.

  2. Select View Profile in the drop-down menu.

  3. Choose the Edit Public Profile & URL link at the top of the right panel.

  4. Select Edit Content, and make any edits to your profile that may affect your privacy.

  5. Select 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 LinkedIn's private viewing mode.

  1. Select your image in the top right corner of the LinkedIn site.

  2. Select the Settings and Privacy link from the drop-down menu.

  3. Select the Privacy tab.

  4. Select Profile Viewing Options.

  5. Select Private Mode. Others won't be able to see your activity.