Top 5 LinkedIn Privacy Topics

August 30, 2007


April Kelly runs our customer support team and hears thousands of questions each week from users. Here she answers five frequently asked questions on privacy that may be on your mind as well. Have more questions. Leave a comment on this post.

1. I found myself when I searched my name on Google. How does that happen?

One of the benefits of having a LinkedIn profile is the ability for you to take control of your online identity, thus making it easier for your public profile to be found by non-LinkedIn members on the Web. By default your publicly searchable profile contains only your name, industry, and region. This is described in our Policy under "Information Sharing".

In addition, you can turn off the publicly searchable version of your profile by selecting the top option "None (off)". That will remove your public profile from our site. Your public profile may remain in a search engine cache for a short time until the cache is refreshed.

2. I received an invitation from this person and I do not know them, how did they get my email?

If you publish your email publicly as many bloggers and journalists normally do then the chances of your getting invitations via email multiply. If you have not published your email publicly and are receiving invitations please report that to us or leave a comment.
You can also prevent unwanted invitations from other LinkedIn users whom you do not know well by using our "Invitation Block" feature. This feature blocks invitations from people who are not in your LinkedIn "Other Contacts" address book. Invitations that are blocked will go into the "filtered invitations" section of your LinkedIn InBox. You can periodically look through your blocked list to see if there are any invitations from people, you actually know.

3.How secure is LinkedIn Data?

Our privacy policies are certified and monitored by TRUSTe (, “an independent, nonprofit organization dedicated to enabling individuals and organizations to establish trusting relationships based on respect for personal identity and information in the evolving networked world.” I would also encourage you to check out our online privacy policy

4. Is there anyway for other people to find out who my direct connections are?

Only your direct connections can know who your other direct connections are on LinkedIn. LinkedIn allows you complete control over your direct connections and we strongly recommend that the best protection is to only connect with people whom you trust to respect your interests.

Your direct connections can see a list of your connections when they view your profile, however you can turn that setting to off by looking for “Connections Browse” within your "Settings".

Direct connections will never get any contact information for your other connections from LinkedIn, unless they get it directly from the other party.  Instead they will have to request an introduction through you, or through some other party, or to obtain contact information (email address, etc.) from somewhere else.

5. I am out of Invitations, how can I get more?

LinkedIn allows users to send out a cumulative maximum of 3000 default invitations over the lifetime of a user. For people who had already exceeded 3000 at the time the limit was put into place, we automatically increased their limit to equal their current cumulative number sent (not including bounced invitations, but including withdrawn invitations).

Hope these answered some of your questions around privacy but if you have more, please let us know, by leaving a comment on the blog.