Waiting for a way to block specific users on LinkedIn? You’ll be happy to hear about LinkedIn’s new Member Blocking feature, which was announced in February 2014.
Hailed by account holders as a significant improvement, Member Blocking allows you to prevent another user from viewing your professional details.
The feature was built in response to a growing volume of requests from LinkedIn users who found that their workplaces, location, and other details were viewable to potentially dangerous contacts.
Member Blocking requires that you visit the Profile page of the offending party, and choose the “Block or report” option from the Send InMail dropdown list.
There’s a bit more to know, however: here’s the lowdown on what REALLY happens when you block another member, with steps to take if you truly want to avoid releasing details to a potential stalker:
1 – LinkedIn Member Blocking completely obliterates the stalker’s view of you – and your view of them.
When you take the above-mentioned step to block another user, he or she will not be able to see your Profile, contact you, or see you in Who’s Viewed Your Profile.”
You will also be removed from suggestions such as “People You May Know” and “Viewers of this Profile also viewed” lists.
Conversely, you will also be unable to see the blocked member’s Profile, and if he or she has recommended you, these Recommendations will be removed.
So far, so good… but there’s a catch.
2 – LinkedIn Member Blocking works ONLY inside the site.
If your Public Profile is visible (“Make my public profile visible to everyone” is checked), all the stalker will need to do is search for you on Google, Yahoo, or another search engine.
All of the details you’ve checked in Public Profile settings will then be 100% viewable.
Therefore, the next step you’ll need to take (if you’re serious about preventing someone else from seeing your Profile details) is to select “Edit your public profile” by choosing Settings and then Profile. You’ll see this option under Helpful Links.
Then, uncheck the option for visibility.
Keep in mind that a Profile is sometimes findable even when it’s not set to public, although this may require advanced Google search techniques. (See LinkedIn Hacks That Will Make Your Job Search 1,000 Times Easier for more information.)
3 – LinkedIn Member Blocking does NOT affect views by Anonymous users.
I’ll say this again – LinkedIn’s Anonymous users are often recruiters, HR executives, or LinkedIn experts who use the site for research.
(I’m among them: see I’m an Anonymous User on LinkedIn – And Here’s Why.)
Anonymous visitors on LinkedIn are NOT cause for concern! If there’s a specific person you want to block from viewing your details, you’ll be able to use Member Blocking to ensure that he or she is not among these stealth users.
Here’s another angle: blocking Anonymous users would defeat the purpose of using LinkedIn for your job search, as hiring authorities would have no way to avoid being deluged with inquiries – slowing down the hiring process and possibly impacting your success.
In a nutshell, LinkedIn’s new Member Blocking will prove to be a valuable tool, but only if you use it with full knowledge of its impact and limitations.
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