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Who can see your Contacts and Updates in LinkedIn? How to Modify your Privacy Settings

A question we get asked quite often by clients and recruiters is how to limit who sees their LinkedIn contacts and particular updates, since they don’t want to connect with other recruiters in case they poach their connections.

Well, I would strongly urge EVERY recruiter out there to accept connection requests with EVERYONE who asks – not because they’re the perfect candidate for a role you have on, but because simply by being connected to more people are you able to see more and more of the overall LinkedIn database. As you’re already aware, you’re only able to see the names and profiles of ¬†first and second degree connections, not third degree or no-connection profiles. The larger your connection base, the more of the site you can explore. It’s classic networking.

Now, to protect your connections and who can see them, here’s how to adjust your privacy settings within LinkedIn.

Step 1: Go to and go to the top right of the page, and bLinkedIn-Settings-Buttony hovering your mouse over your name, a drop-down menu will appear. Click on Settings, like so: —>

Step 2: Beneath your general information section will be a section in white like this:

From here, click on “Select who can see your connections“, and select “Only You“, like this:

So that stops all others from browsing through your connections and potentially pilfering your network.

What about profile update notifications and Tweets?

You can update all of those settings from here too. Just go back in to Settings, and click on “Turn on/off your activity broadcasts” – this will stop the broadcasts like when you change or update your profile, make recommendations or follow companies (particularly if you’re planning on making a move and you don’t want to alert your employer that you’re updating your profile).

You can manage what tweets appear on your LinkedIn profile too by going in to settings, clicking on “Manage your Twitter settings“.

Then, make sure you have the “Share only tweets that contain #in (#li also works) in your LinkedIn status” option TICKED. So when you’re joining in the conversation about your favorite TV show or football match, those tweets won’t appear to your professional network on LinkedIn.

How to avoid your profile being targeted in LinkedIn Advertisements

This is a topical one that quite a number of people are unaware of – as advertising on LinkedIn is becoming more and more popular, this is very important. If you’d prefer for your profile not to be targeted in any advertisement on LinkedIn, whether by LinkedIn themselves or a third party advertiser, then here’s how to adjust your settings. (Note: LinkedIn insist that no advertiser can ever access your demographic information, that it selects profiles based on the advertisers selected requirements on their behalf.)

Step 1: Go back in to settings, then underneath the first section, click on Account (4th tab down).

Step 2: Click on “Manage Advertising Preferences

Step 3: Adjust your settings appropriately for you: untick the box if you’d prefer not to have LinkedIn ads targeted at you based on your profile information (your location, age, company, seniority, job function, university or school etc), leave it ticked if you don’t mind ads.

Are you a LION (LinkedIn Open Networker) or do you choose to connect with people you can only recruit? Do you find this benefits your network? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

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