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All You Want to Know About LinkedIn Privacy Controls: How to Control Your LinkedIn Public Profile

Complete privacy is almost impossible to anyone who uses Internet today. Most of us have social profiles on various social media sites like Facebook, Google+, Twitter and professional networks like LinkedIn. There are numerous success stories from people who gets their dream job through these social media sites. However, we would not want to compromise our privacy for this reason. Unlike Facebook or Google+, controlling our public profile in LinkedIn is really difficult, for the  simple reason that the latter is a professional network and not a platform for you to vent too much of your  personal stuffs. This article explains the following:

Privacy Measures to control what appears in your Public LinkedIn profile when someone search your name in Google, Yahoo! like search engines.
Various other privacy control measures you can take to control how you share your data from LinkedIn with others.

Can you block someone from looking at your LinkedIn Profile? Answer is no, you can’t block another LinkedIn member from looking at your profile. However, you can do the following to control what they see.

Hiding Public Version of LinkedIn Profile

LinkedIn Public profile appears when someone search you in Google, Yahoo!, Bing, etc. In one way, this is good, because your prospect employer can find your LinkedIn profile and may lead to your hiring. But this may not be fun if someone you just met in a club or a pub do a search and find everything about you! LinkedIn allows its users to have the following control over the profile

  1. Hide your Public Profile Completely (Your profile never appears in Google, Yahoo!, etc. search engines
  2. Show only basics details like name, industry you working in, location and number of recommendations
  3. Hide your picture, current employer details, previous employer details, etc.
  4. Hide your education, current position, etc.
  5. Hide your profile Summary, Languages, Certifications, etc.
  6. Make everything visible to everyone

To completely hide your LinkedIn public profile:

After logging into your LinkedIn account, Copy & past to your browser. Selecting “Make my public profile visible to no one” blocks your public profile from all the search engines. It may take several weeks for your profile details to be removed from search results.

To hide partial details in your public profile:

After logging into your LinkedIn account, Copy & past to your browser. Select “Make my public profile visible to everyone” and then deselect the details that you want to hide.

Basics: Shows Name, industry, location, number of recommendations (LinkedIn does not allow you to hide your full name from appearing in Public profile!)
Picture: Shows your profile photo, if enabled
Headline: Shows your personal headline as you entered in Basic Information part in your profile, if enabled
Summary: Shows your profile summary as you entered in LinkedIn, if enabled
Current Positions | Show Details: Shows the name of the current position, if enabled. Enabling Current Positions alone (without Show Details) will show only the current position name.
Past Positions | Show Details: Shows the name of the past position, if enabled. Enabling Past Positions alone (without Show Details) will show only the past position name.
Projects: Shows details of Projects you entered in your profile, if enabled.
Languages: Shows languages, if enabled.
Education |  Show details: Shows education details, if enabled
Certifications: Shows certification details you have entered in profile, if enabled
Skills: Shows Skills you have entered in profile, if enabled
Additional Information
Websites: Display your website / blog Interests: Shows your interests as you entered in LinkedIn
Groups: Shows all groups you’re part of
Honors and Awards: Shows honors and awards you have entered in LinkedIn
Interested In…: Tells someone you are interested in Career Opportunities, consulting, new ventures, business deals, etc.

Other Privacy Controls in LinkedIn

Before we proceed, here is how you can access the page to make the changes I am going to talk about next:

1. Turn off Activity Broadcasts: Activity Broadcasts let people know when you change your profile, make recommendations, or follow companies. You can completely turn off this option or you can select who can see these broadcasts – either only your Connections, Everyone, Your Network or Only You.

2. Turn on/off Data Sharing with 3rd Party Applications: This option lets you choose whether you want various 3rd party application you are using to access your data.

3. Manage Settings for LinkedIn Plugins in 3rd Party Sites: If you are signed into your LinkedIn and visit websties that uses LinkedIn plugins, some information about your visit to the website is sent to LinkedIn. You can turn this option completely if you don’t want LinkedIn to know your online habits.

4. Prevent LinkedIn or 3rd Party ads Accessing your LinkedIn data: When you click on an ad appearing in LinkedIn or ads provided by LinkedIn in other websites, the advertiser may have access to your data. You can turn off such access to your data by disabling this option.

By making changes to your LinkedIn profile as explained above, you can control what the public can see about you when they Google on you or search using other search engines. Some of those settings explained above also helps you protect your data from advertisers and other 3rd party websites.

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