How to Keep a LinkedIn Profile Private
By Aaron Charles
Even though LinkedIn is a public platform designed to help business professionals meet new people, many have reasons for making their profiles partially or completely private. There are numerous ways to add privacy to your LinkedIn profile. In case you want to be more publicly available on LinkedIn at some point down the road, you can change your level of privacy at any time after creating your profile.
Privatize Your Name Only
Keep only your name private. Sign in to your account, point to your name at the top of the page and click "Settings" from the drop-down menu.
Click "Edit your name, location and industry" under the "Helpful Links" heading.
Click the option to display only your first name and last initial to keep your profile more private.
Privatize Your Public Profile
Keep your public profile hidden from search engines and from those not signed in to LinkedIn. Sign in to your account, point to your name at the top of the page and click "Settings" from the drop-down menu.
Click "Edit your public profile" under the "Helpful Links" heading.
Click the "Make my public profile visible to no one" option under the "Profile Content" heading. Or click the "Make my public profile visible to everyone" option and then check the boxes of only the features you want the public to see.
Adjust Your Privacy Settings
Keep private some information even from your LinkedIn connections and other LinkedIn users. Sign in to your account, point to your name at the top of the page and click "Settings" from the drop-down menu.
Look at the options available under the "Privacy Controls" heading. Click the actions that appeal to you, such as "Turn on/off your activity broadcasts," "Select who can see your activity feed" and "Select what others can see when you've viewed their profile." Then follow the accompanying instructions.
Click, also, the "Email Preferences" tab and make any adjustments you prefer in order to keep your profile more private.
Be aware that your public profile is different than your principal LinkedIn profile, and refers to the profile ordinarily viewable in search engine results and by those not signed in to LinkedIn.
Aaron Charles began writing about "pragmatic art" in 2006 for an online arts journal based in Minneapolis, Minn. After working for telecom giant Comcast and traveling to Oregon, he's written business and technology articles for both online and print publications, including Salon.com and "The Portland Upside."