LinkedIn can be a great help for anyone looking to find networks and advance their careers. Although, as with any other job search tool, you must be careful about your job search.
LinkedIn allows you to see who’s looking for you on the Internet and search for people yourself. While some people prefer transparency when looking at their potential employers or employees, LinkedIn also gives you the ability to do this anonymously.
If you’re a little shy, you can hide in the shadows using LinkedIn’s private mode. Here’s how to turn on and use Private Mode on LinkedIn so you don’t leave any traces.
What is LinkedIn special?
LinkedIn’s private mode hides your online activity and helps you stay anonymous when visiting other people’s profiles.
By default, when you browse on LinkedIn, you share your profile information with others. This means that when you visit someone’s page, LinkedIn saves your information and the person whose page you visited will see it. They can access this information through the Who Viewed Your Profile list. This can be useful if you want to show someone you are interested in and get them to contact you.
When you turn on private mode and visit someone else’s page, they will not know that it is you. Instead, you will appear on the list as an anonymous LinkedIn member if you are browsing the web privately, or as your semi-private role (for example, Journalist in the Online Media Industry).
This can come in handy if you don’t want to be online, but want to learn about the competitors in your industry.
Is Private Mode part of LinkedIn Premium?
LinkedIn’s private mode is free and available to all LinkedIn users. You don’t need to pay for one of the LinkedIn Premium plans to use it.
It’s also worth noting that LinkedIn Premium users still can’t see the identities of those who view them privately, so your privacy is protected.
However, they can browse privately and still see regular people browsing their profiles.
How LinkedIn Private Mode Can Disrupt Your Networks
Sounds too good to be true? This is because it is not free. While you don’t need to be a LinkedIn Premium member to take advantage of LinkedIn’s private mode, it could cost you potential online connections.
Because all of the Who Viewed Your Profile information is erased when you browse LinkedIn in private, you won’t be able to see who is visiting your page. This means that you will not be able to see who is interested in communicating with you, and you will lose the opportunity to connect with them.
The only way to get around this limitation is to pay for a LinkedIn Premium subscription. You can then hide your activity from other people, but still access your own profile views (from non-sensitive users).
How to enable private mode on LinkedIn?
You can use private mode to browse LinkedIn on both your computer and smartphone.
To turn on LinkedIn private mode on your desktop, follow the instructions.
- Go to your LinkedIn profile page.
- Click the drop-down arrow below your profile icon in the upper right corner of the screen.
- From the drop-down menu, select Account> Settings & Privacy.
- Click on Privacy at the top and then on How Others See Your LinkedIn Activity.
- If you see an older version of LinkedIn, from the left menu, choose Visibility> Visibility for your profile and network. Select “Edit” next to the profile view options.
- Then choose from three different modes: public (showing your name and title), semi-private (showing your profile characteristics), or private (showing no personal information).
All changes will be automatically saved to LinkedIn. Remember, whether you choose Private or Semi-Private, it will disable the Who Viewed your profile section and erase your LinkedIn browsing history.
If you’d rather use LinkedIn on your smartphone than on your computer, here’s how to enable LinkedIn private mode on the mobile app.
- Open the LinkedIn app on your smartphone and click the profile icon in the upper left corner of the screen.
- Select “Settings”.
- Scroll down and select Visibility.
- From the Visibility menu, choose Profile View Options.
- Choose from three modes: public, semi-private, or private.
If you want to change the information others see on your profile, you will have to switch to the desktop app or use your browser to open LinkedIn, not the mobile app.
How to Get the Most Out of LinkedIn Private Mode
Whatever your reason for staying anonymous on LinkedIn, you need to be smart and follow certain rules when using Private Mode. Here are some tips and tricks that you can use to take full advantage of this.
If you’re just setting up your LinkedIn profile and getting to know the web, Private Mode can be very helpful. This will help you stay anonymous while you look around and build your network. It is also recommended to use private mode if you are currently working and do not want anyone at work to know that you are exploring new opportunities.
Whether you’re a recruiter or looking to hire your own employees, LinkedIn Private Mode can help you too. Use private browsing at the beginning of your research when listing suitable candidates. Then go back to the public domain when you’re ready to reach out to potential candidates.
For advanced LinkedIn users
As a seasoned LinkedIn user, you might want to retain access to your profile visitor data, but remain anonymous when visiting other people’s profiles only occasionally. The best way to do this is to use LinkedIn’s private mode only when doing research, not all the time. Then go back to public as soon as you’re done to continue collecting network data.
How to turn off LinkedIn Private Mode
If you’d like to turn off LinkedIn’s private mode, follow these steps. Just follow the above procedure to enable private mode and make sure you choose your name and title as an option instead of the two private mode options.
Should you activate private mode on LinkedIn?
LinkedIn is all about networking and discovering new opportunities and connections. Because of this, it’s best to avoid using LinkedIn’s private mode too often. However, if you are concerned about your online privacy and do not want anyone to be able to track you using your public LinkedIn information, use private mode to stay anonymous on the platform.
Are you using private or public browsing on LinkedIn, and why? Share your LinkedIn experience in the comments section below.