5 Steps to guard, protect, and save your LinkedIn profile. Are you familiar with all of LinkedIn’s privacy settings for your Profile? Why would that be of interest to you? That’s what I thought until my account was hacked and deactivated.

Let’s start with privacy settings. How often do you change your password? I am going to start changing mine monthly.

capture-password-change

One of the newer features on LinkedIn is that you are able to see if you are signed in for your active sessions other than your home location. As I was writing this article I checked to see if I was signed in at another session and found 3 different locations. I went in and signed out of those sessions

If you take your laptop to the library, go to Starbuck’s, or any public WIFI hotspot and you forget to sign out of the session you are in it will leave your profile vulnerable to being hacked. I should have paid more attention to this because I checked my active sessions a few weeks ago and found I had 8 active sessions in West Virginia and I live near Chicago.

I changed my password right away, probably too late. So go to your settings and check your active sessions its right in the middle of the page.

I forgot to mention one of the security settings under the account portion and that is “Manage Security Settings”. What this allows you to do when you are on a public WIFI network is to check the box where it says “Secure connection”. A secure connection will be used when you are browsing LinkedIn (HTTPS).

Capture Security settings Secure connection

HTTPS is a widely used web browser protocol that allows you to look at LinkedIn securely. The encrypted channel keeps data exchange confidential and allows you to securely identify the website. LinkedIn states: “If you regularly access LinkedIn using WIFI hotspots at libraries, cafes, airports, we recommend that you turn on your HTTPS security settings.” The one drawback is you may not have access to any third party applications.

There is also a two step verification for your security settings that may be of help with sign in.

My account was deactivated, I still do not know how it happened or why it happened. I do know that I was using my phone to log in when I noticed the message “signing off”. One of my connections sent me an email telling me they couldn’t find my LinkedIn profile. I tried to log on from my phone and it wouldn’t let me. So I went to my laptop and found my profile was deleted and I could not access.it.

I emailed LinkedIn customer service in the morning, and we communicated back and forth through several email conversations with their customer service and my account was reactivate that same day in the afternoon. Once your account is closed (deactivated) and reopened you lose certain information that they cannot retrieve. Those features are:

Group memberships including group ownership
Followings (Influencers, Companies, etc.)
Ignored and pending invitations
Endorsements and recommendations
Your profile photo

I own a group so that is gone, my photo wasn’t there, endorsements, given and received, were eliminated, recommendations, both given and received, were removed, group membership was lost. Groups I had been in for 4 or 5 years were no longer there. Some groups I couldn’t get back into because they were at their limit and one group I couldn’t get in was an HR group that I had been in for 5 years in good standing but the group owner said no thanks, I didn’t qualify.

Luckily I had previously printed out my profile as a PDF so I would have a record of recommendations, groups I was in, and companies I was following. To print out your profile click on the drop down arrow to the right of the blue send a message. One of your options is “save to PDF”. Choose that one and print it out.

Capture Send a message

Capture Send a message

The other back up for your profile is to download a list of your contacts to a CSV file and save it to your desktop. The most important part is if you know how to access this information, you can export a CSV file of your connections from the Connections Settings page, and then go to advanced setting on the right hand side of the page.. Note: Only the full name, email address, current employer, and position are exported.

Here is your step by step:

Privacy settings – change your password
Check your signed on active sessions – sign off
Manage your security settings – encrypt your LinkedIn profile
Print a PDF version of your profile
Back up your connections with a CSV file – convert to excel sheet
If you find yourself in this situation make sure you contact LinkedIn’s customer service team. They will be able to guide you through the process. Here is link to customer service.

https://help.linkedin.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/1187/kw/customer+service

I’m always happy to connect on LinkedIn with people who PERSONALIZE their request. My email address is BruceBix49@gmail.com. If you find this information valuable please pass this on to others who need help.

I build practically perfect LinkedIn profiles and exemplary executive resumes. Contact me if you need help at 224-221-9700 or Email me at bruce@hobknobery.com

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