Effective Ways to Protect Your Privacy on LinkedIn

LinkedIn is one of the most popular business-oriented networking sites on the Internet today, but one with its fair share of privacy concerns. This Buzzle article tells you just how to protect your privacy on LinkedIn.
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Tip to protect your privacy on LinkedIn
Everyone's Linked-in
According to numbers released by the site, as of February 2014, LinkedIn has more than 277 million users.
Since its launch in 2003, LinkedIn has been instrumental in changing the way professionals use social networking. The service is a one-of-a-kind platform centered around businesses. LinkedIn is extremely popular and is accessible in more than 200 countries. Much like Facebook though, this service isn't without its fair share of privacy threats.

Thankfully, unlike its uber-social competitor, LinkedIn has a lot of privacy features in place to safeguard your identity. If you are a LinkedIn user, you might want to make sure that your account is safe and secure. Here are a few things to ensure that your LinkedIn privacy settings are at their optimum level.

How to Protect Your Privacy on LinkedIn

Select secure browsing
When a website address starts with https://, it indicates secure browsing. By default, LinkedIn switches to secure web browsing protocol when you are required to enter any sensitive information like credit card details, personal details, etc. You can also opt to access the entire site through a protected connection by following this path through your LinkedIn account:

Privacy & Settings > Account > Manage security settings > enable Secure connection > Save changes

Opt for two-step verification
This is a new security measure that is used by a lot of websites. When this option is enabled in your LinkedIn account, on accessing your account from a new device, you would be required to enter your password and key in the code sent via text to you on your registered mobile number. Once the details are entered correctly, the device will be added to your recognized devices list, and you will not have to go through the same process the next time you access your account from that particular device. Here's how you can enable two-step verification for your account:

Privacy & Settings > Account > Manage security settings > Turn On Two-step verification > Register and verify your mobile number (enter the code sent to your phone into your account)

Browse anonymously
LinkedIn has a feature in which a user is notified each time you visit his profile. You can either completely disable this feature, or you could control the information that is displayed to the user. To change this setting follow this path:

Privacy & Settings > Profile > Privacy Controls > Select what others see when you've viewed their profile > Change the settings according to your preference

Update your Privacy Settings
LinkedIn believes in vesting complete control in the hands of the users. Apart from the many security features in place, the site lets you decide what you would like to share, display, and receive on your account. Here are a few features accessible from your Privacy & Settings that you can change according to your preferences.

Activity broadcasts
You can choose if your connections are notified each time you update your profile, follow companies, or recommend any connections.

Connections visibility
You can make your connections visible only to you, or if you would like your first-degree connections to view them as well.

Profile photo
Your profile photo can be visible to everyone, your network, or just your first-degree connections.

Constantly change your password
It is always a good idea to change your password every few months or so. You can change your password by following this path:

Privacy & Settings > Click on Change by the side of Password (upper left corner) > Change to a new password

You'd also be advised to sign out of your account once you're done, more so, when using a computer on a public network. Try not to use the same password for all your accounts. Also, it would be a good idea to use random capital letters and numbers in your password.

Keep an eye out for spam and anything 'phishy'
One of the most blatant ploys used by hackers to steal your data is phishing. Always remember, LinkedIn will NEVER ask for any sensitive personal or financial information via email. All authentic LinkedIn messages have a security footer. A few simple pointers that could help you spot fraudulent emails:
  • LinkedIn will not send you a mail full of grammatical and spelling errors.
  • The site never requires you to install any software or open any email attachments.
  • Your account definitely isn't gonna be deleted if you don't send across an email, or reply to a mail, or if you don't do the Hula!

These simple measures would ensure that your LinkedIn account is well protected. Once these are in place, you can go on making new connections without a fear in mind. Cheers.
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Published: April 8, 2014
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