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The Informatica blog - Authored by Claudiu Popa

LinkedIn’s Dirty Dozen: Get a Handle on its Top 12 Privacy Settings

With the introduction of LinkedIn’s new Settings Page earlier this year, the company also took the opportunity to make some changes to its Privacy Policy. Since the expansive document’s 29 pages would put even the most troubled insomniac into a deep slumber, the company conveniently provided a summary which hints at the different ways it seeks to monetize its service and in part emulate Facebook’s much maligned model.

Instead of stringing together 7415 words however, the latter prefers to describe its privacy-related practices through a series of nested pages that branch off an initial six sections. You get the idea. Six of one, half a dozen of the other. But enough of that. I plan to send you on your way with something you can actually use.

Regardless of whether you’re a captain of industry or the proud owner of a lemonade stand, between jobs or still in school, LinkedIn offers a decent way to manage your professional network. So it’s worth having a look at the settings that might impact your privacy as you use the system to find opportunities, participate in group discussions or creep persons of interest.

As with all social networking systems, default privacy settings are intentionally lax to encourage interaction and maximize opportunities to connect. That makes sense, but only once you know what the system does with your information and how it watches your activity – because they all do. So before you spend time configuring your settings and profile to describe your preference in classical music and underwater basket weaving, do yourself favor and disable the 12 settings below. Then, when you get around to tweaking the system’s options, you may choose to activate them individually. This will reduce the likelihood of leaking information without realizing it.

  • Select who can see your activity feed
  • Select what others see when you’ve viewed their profile
  • Select who can see your connections
  • Change your profile photo & visibility
  • Edit your profile > Personal Information section (Birthday and Marital Status, really?)
  • Edit your public profile (how do you appear in public search results)
Email Preferences
  • Turn on/off LinkedIn announcements
  • Turn on/off invitations to participate in research
Groups, Companies & Applications > Privacy controls
  • Turn on/off data sharing with 3rd party applications
  • Manage settings for LinkedIn plugins on third party sites
  • Manage Social Advertising
  • Turn on/off enhanced advertising
You may also consider turning off Activity broadcasts (under Profile), however this doesn’t impact your privacy as much as it attempts to publicize your already visible activity on the system.

There you have it. A quick and dirty approach to privacy using LinkedIn. You can now enjoy connecting with anyone you like, and feel like you have a little more control over your privacy.
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Claudiu Popa | 01/17/2012 09:45:30
One addition to this list - to make it a Baker's Dozen - is the "View Your Applications" screen which will show you something interesting: the applications and external Web sites to which you have *implicitly* granted access. If this link works, it should take you right there: https://www.linkedin.com/secure/settings?userAgree=&goback=%2Enas_*1_*1_*1

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