Are you happy with your social media privacy settings? Do you even know what they’re currently set to, let alone where to change them?
The good news is, most social media platforms have improved, simplified and clarified their privacy settings in recent years. The bad news is, based on questions I’ve fielded in recent presentations and seminars, many users have yet to master these settings. Among the questions I’ve been asked. . .
- Should I create a 2nd LinkedIn profile if I’m considering a career in a different industry?
- Is there a way I can hide my LinkedIn profile, or parts of it, so that someone doesn’t think I’m over-qualified?
- Can I temporarily suspend my LinkedIn profile while I make certain changes?
- Should I create a 2nd Facebook profile – one for fun and one for a professional footprint?
- Should I create a Facebook business page for myself for professional purposes?
The short answer to each of the above is “No!” If you take the time to learn and master your account privacy settings, there’s no need to create unnecessary duplication of profiles. Not only would a duplicate profile violate user terms, in fact, profile duplication can do more harm than good.
Let’s start with LinkedIn. To locate your LinkedIn privacy settings, you’ll want to click on the icon in the upper toolbar that contains your profile picture (if you haven’t uploaded a profile picture, click here!). After clicking on that icon, select “Privacy & Settings” from the drop-down menu. Privacy & Settings is split into three distinct areas: Account, Privacy, Communications.
While you should check each and every setting, in particular, here are the ones you’ll want to review:
- Name, location and industry: See how this information appears to other people on LinkedIn and make changes, if needed.
Under Privacy/Profile Privacy:
- Edit your public profile: Control how you appear when people search for you on Google, Yahoo!, Bing, etc. as well as which profile contents are displayed (picture, headline, websites, posts, summary, current position and details, past positions and details, volunteer experiences and causes, projects, skills, education and details, recommendations, and groups). You can also make changes to your profile summary, which is especially helpful if you want to describe a change in career focus.
- Sharing profile edits: As you make changes to your profile, you can turn off the notifications to your network that would ordinarily accompany each change as it’s made.
- Profile viewing mode: When you view someone’s profile, do you want them to see your name, location, industry and headline? Or do you prefer generic characteristics? Or do you prefer complete stealth mode?
You cannot temporarily suspend your LinkedIn account, so make sure you adjust your settings accordingly. As a way to check how your settings impact the information that’s visible in your profile, you’ll want to go to Profile in your main toolbar and then select Edit Profile. The blue button next to your profile picture will say “View profile as.” Click that button and in the white toolbar that appears under the black toolbar, toggle between connections and public (those you’re not connected to).
Don’t forget that the value of LinkedIn lies in being found and finding others. The more active you are and the more information you include, the more valuable of a tool it becomes.
In my next post, I’ll address how your privacy settings in Facebook can help answer the questions that I’ve fielded in recent seminars I’ve given.