A lawsuit filed against LinkedIn claims the popular social media site geared toward professional connections sold access to its members’ former co-workers to premium customers such as job recruiters who would then contact your former co-workers through the Reference Search feature.

The suit claims that the paid feature amounts to LinkedIn being a paid information source which would fall under the oversight included in the Fair Credit Reporting Act. If successful, LinkedIn could face a large bill for compounded fines. In the meantime, the lawsuit serves as a wake up call to reign in privacy on LinkedIn.

REIGNING IN LINKEDIN AND WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW

1) See what the general public can see about you on a LinkedIn profile by viewing your public Linkedin profile page
2) Turn Off Your Broadcasts so that others can’t see every update and connection you are making
(you don’t want your boss to see what connections you are making to competitors or others that could be questioned)
3) Reign in Your Privacy Settings by removing applications that no longer need access to your LinkedIn
4) Actively check your privacy settings from time to time. Updates and policy changes could have your sharing more than you thought you were in the past.
5) Add a remark in your profile that you prefer to be contacted for introductions to colleagues and former employers such as “happy to provide introductions to references upon discussion”

Once you take those immediate steps, then click here for my tips on creating the most compelling LinkedIn profile or resume for your job search.

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