The 25 Best LinkedIn Privacy Settings (Your How-To Guide)


LinkedIn is a goldmine of professional opportunity, and with the correct privacy settings in place, you can make sure your personal information is protected.  Here are the 25 best LinkedIn privacy settings broken into 6 subsections.

  1. Account Preferences settings
  2. Sign-in & Security settings
  3. Visibility settings
  4. Communications settings
  5. Data Privacy settings
  6. Advertising data settings

By the same token, whether you’re concerned about identity theft or simply don’t want your boss to see all of your activity, these settings will help keep you safe. So read on and learn how to make LinkedIn work for you – not against you. 

Confused businessman wondering what are the best linkedin privacy settings

1. LinkedIn Privacy Settings: Account Preferences

The first set of LinkedIn privacy settings you should know about is the Account Preferences settings. They limit how your data is tracked and repurposed through LinkedIn.

Step 1: Limit The Visibility of your Profile Photo

LinkedIn allows you to choose who can see your profile photo. If you’re concerned about privacy, it’s best to select “Only You” so that only people you’ve connected with can see your picture.


The 25 best linkedin privacy settings (your how-to guide)

To do this, go to Settings and Privacy > “Account Preferences” > Under “Site Preferences” go-to “Showing profile photos” > Select “No one or Your Connections


Step 2: Turn off the ” People also viewed” feature

LinkedIn tracks the people you view and then recommends other profiles to view. However, it can also be a huge time waster. If you find yourself constantly clicking on profile after profile, it might be time to turn off this feature. 


To do this, go to Settings and Privacy > “Account Preferences” > Under “Site Preferences” go-to “People Also Viewed” > Turn the feature off.


Step 3: Tighten your Synching options

LinkedIn syncs to your calendar and contacts to help you better connect with your network. However, this also means LinkedIn has access to a lot of personal information. If you’re not comfortable with LinkedIn having this information, you can adjust your synching settings.


To do this, go to Settings and Privacy > “Account Preferences” > Under “Synching options“, Toggle OFF ” Sync calendar and Sync Contacts.”


Step 4: Conduct a monthly review of services and apps you’ve given access to your LinkedIn data.

LinkedIn allows you to connect your account with other services and apps for your convenience. However, it’s essential to regularly review the list of connected services, as some may no longer be in use or may have changed their privacy policies. Remove permissions from services that you no longer use or require.


The 25 best linkedin privacy settings (your how-to guide)

To do this, go to Settings and Privacy > “Account Preferences” > Under “Partners and Services,” remove any Microsoft accounts or Twitter account linked to your LinkedIn account.


2. LinkedIn Privacy Settings: Sign-in & Security

The next set of LinkedIn privacy settings involves sign-in and security. These settings control how you log in to LinkedIn and how LinkedIn protects your account.

Step 1: Review and Sign out of active sessions

LinkedIn keeps track of all the devices and browsers you’ve used to sign in. It’s a good idea to review these active sessions and sign out of any you don’t recognize.


To do this, go to Settings and Privacy > “Sign in & Security” > Under Account access, select “Where you’re signed in” > Review your devices and browsers > End sessions of any that you don’t recognize.


Step 2: Manage Devices that remember your password

If a device is lost or stolen, by setting the number of devices that remember your password to 0, you can ensure that no one else will access your LinkedIn account without knowing your password. Adjusting this security setting is a reasonable security precaution to protect your LinkedIn account from unauthorized access.


The 25 best linkedin privacy settings (your how-to guide)

To do this, go to Settings and Privacy > “Sign in & Security” > Under Account access, select “Devices that remember your password” > Set the number of devices to 0.


Step 3: Set up a Two-step verification

Two-step verification is an extra layer of security that LinkedIn offers to protect your account. With two-step verification, you’ll need your password and a code sent to your phone whenever you sign in from a new device. This makes it much harder for someone to hack your account. LinkedIn offers two different ways to set up two-step verification, so choose the best option for you.


To do this, go to Settings and Privacy > “Sign in & Security” > Under “Account Access“, select “Two-step verification” > Choose your verification method ( Authenticator app or Phone number)


3. LinkedIn Privacy Settings: Visibility

The next LinkedIn privacy setting has to do with your visibility on LinkedIn. LinkedIn gives you the ability to control how visible your profile and activity are to other users.

Part A: Visibility of Profile

Step 1: Change your Profile Viewing options

This setting allows you to choose what others see when you’ve viewed their profile. Set this to private mode.


To do this, go to Settings and Privacy > “Visibility” > Under “Profile viewing options”, select “Private mode”.


Step 2: Adjust your public profile settings

This setting allows you to limit what is shown on search engines and to people who aren’t signed in to LinkedIn.


To do this, go to Settings and Privacy > “Visibility” > Select “Edit your public profile” > Turn off everything except for the basics ( name, number of connections, and region), and limit the visibility of your profile photo to only your 1st-degree connections.


Step 3: Adjust your email visibility

LinkedIn will show your email address on your profile unless you change this setting. Adjust this setting if you don’t want your email address to be visible or downloadable.


The 25 best linkedin privacy settings (your how-to guide)

To do this, go to Settings and Privacy > “Visibility” > Under “Visibility of your profile & network”, select “Who can see/download your email address” > Set to “only visible to me” and toggle OFF “allow connections to download email.”


Step 4: Adjust your Connection visibility

Change this setting to prevent your connections from seeing your connection list.


To do this, go to Settings and Privacy > “Visibility” > Under “Visibility of your profile & network”, select “Connections” > Toggle OFF “connection visibility.”


Step 5: Adjust your Connection visibility

Change this setting to prevent other members from seeing who you follow.


To do this, go to Settings and Privacy > “Visibility” > Under “Visibility of your profile & network”, select “Who can see who you follow” > Select “Only visible to me.


Step 6: Adjust your Last name visibility

Change this setting to display only the first initial of your last name to anyone who isn’t a connection.


To do this, go to Settings and Privacy > “Visibility” > Under “Visibility of your profile & network”, select “Who can see your last name” > Set to First initial only.


Step 7: Adjust your Profile discoverability settings

There are two ways people can find you on LinkedIn. The first way is by email address, and the second way is by phone number. Make sure that you only allow 2nd-degree connections to find you using your email address.


The 25 best linkedin privacy settings (your how-to guide)

To do this, go to Settings and Privacy > “Visibility” > Under “Visibility of your profile & network”, select “Profile discoverability using email address” > Set to “2nd-degree connections. “


Also, make sure that your profile is not found by anyone using your phone number.


To do this, go to Settings and Privacy > “Visibility” > Under “Visibility of your profile & network”, select “Profile discoverability using phone number” > Set to “Nobody.”


Part B: Visibility of LinkedIn Activity

LinkedIn offers the ability to control your activity visibility, including things like what you share, who can see your activity, and whether your LinkedIn activity is shared with other sites. To adjust these settings:

Step 1: Edit your active status broadcasts

Change this setting to prevent others from seeing when you are currently active on the platform.


To do this, go to Settings and Privacy > “Visibility” > Under ” Visibility of your LinkedIn activity”, select “Manage your active status status” > Set to no one.


Step 2: Stop sharing your profile updates

Edit this setting to prevent your network from being notified when you change your profile.


The 25 best linkedin privacy settings (your how-to guide)

To do this, go to Settings and Privacy > “Visibility” > Under ” Visibility of your LinkedIn activity”, select “share profile updates with your network” > Toggle NO


Step 3: Change in the news

Next, choose not to notify connections when you are in the news.


To do this, go to Settings and Privacy > “Visibility” > Under ” Visibility of your LinkedIn activity”, select “Notify connections when you are in the news” > Turn OFF.


Step 4: Mentions or Tags

On the one hand, mentions or tags help build relationships and increase your visibility. On the other hand, they can also be a source of unwanted attention and privacy breaches. If you’re concerned about your privacy, do not allow others to mention or tag you.


The 25 best linkedin privacy settings (your how-to guide)

To do this, go to Settings and Privacy > “Visibility” > Under ” Visibility of your LinkedIn activity”, select “Mentions or tags” > Toggle OFF.


Step 5: Choose your followers

LinkedIn gives you the ability to choose who can follow your updates. Limit it to only your connections


To do this, go to Settings and Privacy > “Visibility” > Under ” Visibility of your LinkedIn activity”, select “Followers” > Set to “Your connections. “


4. LinkedIn Privacy Settings: Communication

LinkedIn offers several communication controls that help you manage your messages and who can contact you.

Step 1: Limit who can reach you

Only allow invite messages from people who appear in your “imported contacts list.”


The 25 best linkedin privacy settings (your how-to guide)

To do this, go to Settings and Privacy > “Communications” > Under “Who can reach you”, select “Invitations to connect” > Set to “People in my imported contacts list only.”


Also, prevent LinkedIn from sending you invites to participate in research.


To do this, go to Settings and Privacy > “Communications” > Under ” Who can reach you“, select “Research Invites” > Turn OFF.


Step 2: Turn OFF the read receipts feature

LinkedIn’s read receipts feature is a delivery indicator that lets people know when you’ve seen their message. This can be a privacy breach, as it allows others to know when you’re online and when you’re not.


To do this, go to Settings and Privacy > “Communications” > Under “Messaging experience“, select “Read receipts and typing indicators” > Toggle OFF


5. LinkedIn Privacy Settings: Data Privacy

LinkedIn allows you to get a copy of the data you have uploaded on the platform. Expert this data and review it to access your past activity and network information. After review, revoke access to data you no longer want to share with LinkedIn.


The 25 best linkedin privacy settings (your how-to guide)

To do this, go to Settings and Privacy > “Data privacy” > Select ” Get a copy of your data” > Request the archive.


6. LinkedIn Privacy Settings: Advertising data

The Advertising Data tab contains a wealth of information about how LinkedIn uses your personal data to create personalized ads. This includes data about your profile, activities, and interactions with LinkedIn and its third-party partners. It is essential to review this tab carefully and opt out of detailed tracking to minimize the sharing of personal details with LinkedIn and its partners.

Step 1: Turn OFF Advertising preferences

Prevent LinkedIn from using your profile information to serve you personalized ads.


To do this, go to Settings and Privacy > “Advertising data” > Under “Advertising Preferences” select “Profile data for personalized ads “ > Toggle OFF.


Also, prevent Linked from using your Interest categories to serve you personalized ads.


The 25 best linkedin privacy settings (your how-to guide)

To do this, go to Settings and Privacy > “Advertising data” > Under “Advertising Preferences” select “Interest Categories” > Toggle NO.


Step 2: Limit the type of Data collected on LinkedIn

LinkedIn offers the ability to limit the types of data it and its partners can collect about you.

To do this, go to Settings and Privacy > “Advertising data” > Under “Data collected on LinkedIn” > Turn OFF the following:

  • Connections
  • Location
  • Demographics
  • Companies you follow
  • Groups
  • Education
  • Job Information
  • Employer

Step 3: Limit data taken from your activity off LinkedIn

We all know that ads are a fact of life online. But have you ever stopped to think about where those ads come from? In many cases, they’re based on data collected by third-party companies, like the websites you visit or the search terms you enter into Google. If you find this a bit intrusive, limit the data taken from your activity off LinkedIn.

To do this, go to Settings and Privacy > “Advertising data” >Under ‘Third-party data” > Turn OFF the following data sources:

  • Websites visited
  • Ads outside LinkedIn
  • Interactions with businesses
  • Ad-related actions

Final Thoughts

Are there other social media networks where you feel your privacy is at risk? Check my list of the 11 worst social media apps to see the most notorious offenders.

Mike Chu

Mike is a web developer and content writer living as a digital nomad. With more than 20 years of devops experience, he brings his "programmer with people skills" approach to help explain technology to the average user. Check out his full author bio by clicking here.