Are You Protecting the Privacy of Your Connections on LinkedIn? Here’s Why You Might Want to Learn How…

LinkedIn has become the professional connection point for all types of career-minded people: for those who are corporately employed, for entrepreneurs, for those seeking to hire or be hired, and more. It’s a social media platform that helps provide common ground for everyone looking to succeed in business. This can include network marketers, human resource professionals, consultants, artists, teachers, speakers, advisers, and business coaches just to name a few.

The people you reach out to on LinkedIn are typically professionally connected to you in some fashion. Some of your connections might consist of your clients, vendors, peers and coworkers, or mentors and bosses. Those are all great connections to develop, and many would be proud to display their list of connections to anyone who views their profile whether they’re already connected on Linkedin or not.

So here’s the important question you need to ask about the visibility of your connections on Linkedin:

Do you want all of your 1st level connections on LinkedIn to be visible to the general population of Linkedin? This is a question that is often debated, but there really isn’t a “correct” answer. This is why LinkedIn allows you to adjust your own setting to the way you want.

By default, your setting allows your 1st level connections to see all of your other 1st level connections whether they are connected to them or not. This level is adjustable.

A feature that is NOT adjustable is that LinkedIn will automatically allow your 1st level connections to see all 1st level connections that you share and have in common. LinkedIn does this to promote networking. In knowing there is a mutual connection, the hope is that this feature will help promote networking with other shared connections.

If you are happy with the default setting, there is nothing that needs to be adjusted to your profile. However, if you prefer to not share your contacts with the general Linkedin population, it will require a simple adjustment to your settings.

If you’re not sure about whether or not you want to adjust those visibility settings on Linkedin, here’s another way to think about it. Let’s say that one of your competitors begins researching your profile. Do you really want them to have a ready-made list of all your clients and prospects through your LinkedIn profile connections? Unless you go in and manually change your default settings, anyone who researches your profile, even if you are not connected on Linkedin, will be able to see every one of your connections.

For many, your list of connections is of no concern to others in your line of business, and you enjoy sharing your connections. If that is the case, you can leave your default setting as is. 

For others of you, it may be a big concern to share your list of clients and prospects that you’ve connected with on Linkedin. If you would like to protect the privacy of your connections from those who you are NOT connected with on Linkedin, see below.

Here is a step-by-step guide in how you can update your settings to change the visibility of your 1st level connections on Linkedin:

1. Click the “Me” icon (your profile picture) in the Menu/Navigation Bar (Top Right).

2. Click Settings & Privacy in the drop down menu.

3. Click on Privacy in the Center.

4. Click on Who can see your connections and select Only you.

NOTE: This setting option currently does not display when using LinkedIn via the mobile app. To make this adjustment, you need to be logged into your account via the web browser.

As indicated in the screenshots, this is also where you have the option to select the default setting so those who are already connected to you will also be able to see your other connections.

An exception to adjusting your visibility, is that regardless of your settings, all members of LinkedIn will still be able to see the names of your connections who endorse you, send you testimonials, and submit recommendations for you to your profile. 

Want to learn more tips and strategies to enhance your LinkedIn profile? Take a look at our other Linkedin articles. You can also check out our Soar 2 Success On LinkedIn Tip Book listed below! 

As Featured in:

Soar 2 Success on LinkedIn: 50 High Performing Tips to ENHANCE Your LinkedIn Profile” [Amazon Link]

Coauthored by Elizabeth McCormick and Chris Rollins

Click here to view the Soar 2 Success book description page.

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