LinkedIn is the most bustling social media network for professionals. It allows you to network and connect with individuals in your industry and improve your career opportunities.
However, with concerns of privacy booming, people are starting to look into better security of their data and online activity.
In general, LinkedIn is a pretty open platform. When you have a profile and if you pay for LinkedIn Premium you are able to see every person who has checked your profile.
Yet, it's easy to see why some people would prefer the privacy of browsing LinkedIn without each and every action they take being showcased in the public space.
LinkedIn Private Mode allows you to hide and control the information about your activity.
Introduced as early as 2015, Private Mode is a feature of LinkedIn that allows you to control the amount of information people see when you are checking out their profile on the platform.
Usually, when you visit the profile of a person on LinkedIn they would be able to see it, alongside with information about the time at which you have visited their profile page.
When you activate private mode your searches become invisible.
This allows you to keep your search visits discreet and the person won't be notified that YOU in particular have visited their profile.
LinkedIn Private Mode is perfect for:
By having control over the flow of information that is given to other parties you are able to do more offstage and personalized searches without worrying about people being able to see your profile.
To activate the private mode and keep your profile hidden when you do searches on LinkedIn you can use the following steps.
Time needed: 5 minutes.
How to activate LinkedIn Private Mode (and hide your profile)
The first step is to visit the homepage of the platform from your profile.
After that, click on your profile photo to open up the drop down menu.
From the drop-down menu that has just appeared, you are able to select new settings and options. Enter the "Settings & Privacy" option.
Once you are in the settings, scroll down to the section that is titled "How Others See your LinkedIn Activity" section.
Change the settings of LinkedIn to suit your liking.
In general, LinkedIn offers you six different options that let you control your exploration on your platform.
Profile Viewing Options
This option allows you to choose whether or not you are visible to others when browsing their profiles.
It provides you with three different appearance options.
If you want to be completely anonymous, you should select the third option.
Story Viewing Options
Story viewing options show whether or not and how your profile will be shown to someone when you are viewing their stories. It has the same three options as the previous section.
Manage Active Status
The active status setting allows you to keep your activity hidden to others. Usually your online status will be shown in the chat as a green circle if you are online.
If you don't want people to know when you are online, you should use this setting.
It has three main privacy settings.
The first option is active by default. For privacy, you should use the third option to hide your online activity on LinkedIn from everyone.
Share Job and Profile Changes
Titled as "Share Job changes, education changes and work anniversaries from profile" this section allows you to hide the notifications of work-related changes from being shared to others in your LinkedIn network.
It has a simple "Yes" and "No" slider.
You should turn it to "No" if you don't want people to notified every time you change your profile.
Notify when you are in the News
When a publication shares information about you, your name can appear in people's feeds.
If you want people to be able to be Linked to your profile when they share different news, you should keep this option open.
However, if you want to go completely private with your professional and public activity, you should opt out of that option.
To do so, click on this menu section and turn the slider to the "No" option.
This will keep your "in the news" notifications from being shared with others on the platform and in your close connections circles.
Mentions or Tags by Others
LinkedIn also allows you to see and control whether or not others can mention or tag you in posts.
To keep your activity completely hidden it might be best to turn this option off and not allow others to tag you in posts as well.
To do so, simply click the "Yes" and "No" slider to the "No" option.
That way, people won't be able to tag your profile in their posts.
Now, if you are a mobile-first user, you can still access most of the settings mentioned above.
However, to get to these settings is arguably a bit more tricky.
The LinkedIn Mobile app doesn't have proper categorization of your privacy settings, but still gives you control over what to hide and what to make visible.
Here's how to access your Private Mode settings in a few easy steps.
Step 1: Open the LinkedIn Mobile App
Step 2: Click on your Profile Picture
Step 3: Click the "Settings" Button
Step 4: Click on the "Privacy" Button
Step 5: Select the Privacy Option you are Interested in Changing
This will get you to the private mode settings in the LinkedIn mobile app as a whole.
The settings on mobile have pretty much the same functionality, but are not arranged as neatly as they are on the desktop version of the website.
Here's what portions of your profile visibility to others you can control on mobile.
There are also a couple of other privacy settings found in the menu that allow you to change different aspects of your LinkedIn experience.
And control the information you have on the app, the way it's shared with others, with whom it's shared and how it's shared as a whole.
As mentioned, there are a couple of use cases where you might want to explore the app in private mode.
However, for the most part, allowing your visibility to be active can result in more traction related to your profile.
Imagine if Bill Gates sees a notification that YOU have visited his profile and out of boredom or curiosity he clicks on it.
Now, while this scenario is highly unlikely (he probably has a team running his profile), it can happen with other decision makers and profile you visit.
And you never know when your luck might hit.
However, having control over the information that is shared with others, with whom it's shared and how it's shared is certainly a HUGE benefit of using LinkedIn and the platform.
Are you interested in learning more about LinkedIn? Share your biggest challenges in the comments section and I'll do my best to address them. (I have a whole book on LinkedIn)