Last fall, Ronelle, a 23-year-old law student in New Hampshire, was bored and doing some maintenance on her LinkedIn page.
Though she wasn’t particularly missing her ex, it had been a while, and she was slightly curious to see what he had been up to lately, professionally speaking.
She clicked on his page.
An hour later, she received a text from said ex: “Viewing my LinkedIn, eh?”
“After I got over my mini heart attack, I immediately ran to my settings to see where I had gone wrong,” Ronelle, who asked to use her first name only, told HuffPost.
“Apparently there are multiple options for how you appear when you view people’s profiles,” she said.
Indeed, there are! Ronelle, like so many of us before her, learned the hard way that, in most cases, LinkedIn will notify a user when you view their profile.
Poking around to see what that one braggart former co-worker of yours is up to? They can see that on LinkedIn!
Looking up your old high school crush to see if they ever got out of town? They can see that on LinkedIn, too!
Curious if Shaq is still part of the Papa John’s corporation? Yes, he is, and he can see that you checked on LinkedIn! (Yes, Shaq has a LinkedIn page.)
How to View LinkedIn Profiles Anonymously
Naturally, you probably want to make sure your ex ― or anyone else, for that matter ― can’t see you perusing their profile. To do that, you simply have to enable private mode in your privacy settings.
To find this option, head to the LinkedIn website and click on the “Me” icon on the top right corner of your profile. Then click on the “Setting & Privacy” option from the drop-down menu.
From there, click the “Visibility” tab on the lefthand side.
Once you’re clicked onto the “Visibility” tab,” click on the “Visibility of your profile & network” subtab. This page will give you the option to change whether your LinkedIn browsing is visible or private. Click “private” mode if you no longer want people to see you snooping around!
And that’s it. You’re a stealthy browser now. People will still see that someone viewed their profile after you’ve viewed it, but they’ll only see that an anonymous person viewed it.
Keep in mind, though, if you have a Basic (free) account and choose to browse in private mode, you won’t be able to see who’s viewed your profile either. If you upgrade to a Premium account, you can browse in private mode and still see the list of people who viewed your profile in the last 90 days.
Ronelle is now using private mode. But like anyone who’s ever “accidentally” clicked on their ex’s LinkedIn page, she’s still a little scarred from the experience.
“My settings are set to private now, but I still avoid looking at anyone’s profile if it’s not for work because I’m scared that I may have accidentally switched the setting!” she said. “If it’s absolutely necessary to keep tabs on your ex, stick to Instagram or Twitter.”