How to go private on LinkedIn?
Many professionals use LinkedIn to develop their network, work on their brand image, increase their notoriety and be visible – in short, work on their personal branding. But in some cases, you might want to see and not be seen, let’s discover how to go private on LinkedIn!
If you are familiar to the way LinkedIn works, you know that the people whose profiles you view are notified of your visit. They will then have access to your complete profile page. This can sometimes be annoying, for some reasons. But you know what? You can view professional pages and profiles in private mode on LinkedIn and go unnoticed.
As with web browsers such as Chrome, Safari or Firefox, there is a private browsing mode on LinkedIn that will allow you to see without being seen. If you want to visit a specific page, there is no need to create a fake LinkedIn profile: just activate this feature, and the other users of the platform will have no idea that you visited them.
If you leave LinkedIn with the basic parameters, you will know how many users have browsed your profile, and who they are. You can see the profiles of people who have seen you. Everyone has, at some point, received this notification: a LinkedIn user “has seen your profile”.
Actually, a report exists on LinkedIn, that allows you to check your visibility on the social network. It displays the number of profiles that have seen you, and the social profiles of users who have found you.
Under that table, you will see the list of people who viewed your profile. You will have access to their user name, job title, company and profile photo. Click on them to get to their account page and see their social profile.
You may notice that not all profiles and views are displayed in this report. There is indeed a private, or incognito, mode on LinkedIn. When activated, your visit to another profile will not be notified or counted: you are free to view profiles without being tracked. The person will therefore not know your first and last name and will not have access to your profile and personal information. It is a great way to know a person’s profile without them knowing it.
To be noted: activating LinkedIn’s private mode will prevent you from using the “Who viewed your profile” report for your own profile. However, LinkedIn allows its premium users to activate the private mode while still being able to access that private data.
Why would I want to activate the private mode on LinkedIn? There are several reasons. You may want to browse the profile of a competitor, a new colleague, a customer, or a service provider in total discretion.
Job-seekers might also activate the LinkedIn private mode to keep some discretion.
When networking, and wishing to expand your professional network, you may want to observe the personal profiles of many people, without getting in touch with them afterwards. To avoid raising questions, the private mode of LinkedIn is perfect.
You can also, for example, want to search for information on targets and prospects, and do not want to let them see your profile. Searching for customers can be done discreetly.
Everyone can have their reasons to use the incognito mode on LinkedIn.
How to activate this private mode? The steps are very simple: just manage your privacy settings on your account settings page. Here is how to set the private mode on LinkedIn, step-by-step.
Log into your personal account and click on “Settings & Privacy” in the drop-down menu under your profile on the right corner of your screen:
Once you got into the settings, on your left hand, you will find tabs. Click on “Visibility” and select the “Visibility of your profile & network” tab.
In the new window that opens, you can choose between different settings. The one we are interested in is “Profile viewing options”, with three options:
The first option leaves your LinkedIn profile in public mode: when you view a profile, the person receives a notification and has access to your profile.
The other two options correspond to the private mode of LinkedIn. The first one, “Private Profile Characteristics” does not let others know who has seen their profile. They will receive a visit notification and know the name of the company that hires you or your job. But they will not be able to identify your profile. Neither your username nor your profile picture will be displayed.
The last option is the most private of all: if you visit a profile with the private mode activated like this, users will not even receive notifications and will not know that their LinkedIn profile has been seen.
Of course, you can change your security settings to update your personal profile and how it appears.
Once this setting has been activated, you are free to view the LinkedIn profile of whomever you want without the risk of being spotted. You are an anonymous user of LinkedIn and can go for incognito browsing. Ideal for your discreet prospecting, or to observe the competition without touching your e-reputation! 😜