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A: You can be anonymous on LinkedIn!

FAQs of (Web) Life: An Advice Column
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Hi, Freaked Out.

Today’s your lucky day. You CAN stalk anonymously on LinkedIn!

If you really don’t want someone to know you visited their profile, go the super sleuth route. Go to Settings>Privacy Controls>Select what others see when you’ve viewed their profile>You will be totally anonymous. Or, you can select “anonymous profile characteristics such as industry and title.” The anonymous title seems intriguing, however, people can probably figure out who you are based on your generic title (because it’s not generic enough).

If you’re a job seeker, it’s best to keep your name and title visible because it’s kind of like free advertising. Stalk everyone you want to work for, and they’ll see your name when they check who’s viewed their profile. Interestingly enough, LinkedIn does limit how many names appear in the “who’s viewed my profile” list. So some of your stalking may have gone unnoticed anyway. This is probably why LinkedIn added this feature. It’s just another way to entice users to upgrade to the $24.95/month business account -- the upgraded Profile Stats Pro lets you see a complete list of who’s viewed your profile.

I don’t foresee Facebook or Twitter adding this feature anytime soon, although many viruses claim to tell you who viewed your profile the most. None of them work – it’s all inflated or fake numbers. For now, you’re safe. Stalk on.

Sincerely,

Aubre Andrus

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  • 0 Hide
    Tomsguiderachel , October 11, 2011 10:55 PM
    Do you have any questions for the next installment of FAQs of (Web) Life? Questions can be about any facet of the intersection of technology and life. Send me an anonymous message at tomsguiderachel (
  • 0 Hide
    gerchokas , October 11, 2011 11:07 PM
    There was a time when everybody would use MSN messenger, e-mail accounts, blogs/photologs, etc... now its just one big thing: Facebook. For better or worse.
  • 1 Hide
    Anonymous , October 12, 2011 1:06 PM
    Another question related to LinkedIn: I'm fairly new to LinkedIn and am unsure of proper LinkedIn etiquette. When is it appropriate to ask for a connection? If you have met someone at a few different networking events, can you link to them? Or, are links really only meant for people you've worked closely with or know on a deeper level. Also, is there a different set of rules depending on the title of the potential link?
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