The short answer is yes, anyone can message you on LinkedIn if you have enabled messaging. However, you have control over who can message you based on your account settings.
On LinkedIn, there are two main ways someone can message you:
- Through LinkedIn Messaging – This is LinkedIn’s built-in messaging system. Anyone in your network or who you’ve had a previous conversation with can message you here.
- Through InMail – InMail are messages sent through LinkedIn that go directly to your inbox even if you’re not connected. Anyone can purchase InMails through LinkedIn to message you if you have your settings enabled to receive them.
Who Can Message You Through LinkedIn Messaging
For regular LinkedIn messaging, the following people can message you:
- Your 1st degree connections – These are people you are directly connected with on LinkedIn.
- 2nd and 3rd degree connections – These are connections of your connections. For example, a 2nd degree connection is someone who is connected to someone you are connected with.
- Group members – If you are both members of the same LinkedIn group, you can message each other through the group.
- Anyone you’ve had a previous conversation with – If you’ve ever exchanged messages with someone on LinkedIn before, you automatically enable messaging between each other going forward.
So essentially, anyone in your network on LinkedIn can message you through LinkedIn’s messaging system. The exception is people who you are not at all connected to, who would need to use InMail.
Who Can Message You Through InMail
InMail allows anyone on LinkedIn to send you messages directly to your inbox, even if you are not connected. However, there are some requirements:
- The sender must purchase InMails through LinkedIn. They come in packs starting at $10 for 3 InMails.
- As the recipient, you must have your inbox set to receive InMails from anyone. This is enabled by default.
So if you leave your settings as default, anyone can purchase InMails and message you, even if you don’t know them and are not connected on LinkedIn.
How to Control Who Can Message You
While the default settings allow anyone to message you either directly or through InMail, you can change these settings to limit who can reach you.
Limiting LinkedIn Messaging
To control who can message you directly through LinkedIn messaging:
- Go to your Settings & Privacy page
- Select Communications on the left sidebar
- Under Direct messages, select “Only people I follow or are connected to”
This will prevent 2nd and 3rd degree connections from messaging you. The only people who can message you are your 1st degree connections and group members.
To limit who can send you InMail:
- Go to Settings & Privacy
- Select Communications
- Under InMail, select “I don’t want to receive InMail messages”
This will completely block incoming InMails from anyone you are not connected to. The only InMails you can receive are from your 1st degree connections.
Other Ways to Control Messaging
In addition to your account settings, there are other ways to control messaging:
- Unfollow connections – Unfollowing connections will remove their ability to message you directly through LinkedIn messaging.
- Block users – You can block specific users which prevents them from messaging you and removes their ability to see your profile and posts.
- Turn off message requests – This prevents new message requests so only existing connections can message you. You can turn requests back on anytime.
By default, anyone can message you on LinkedIn either directly or through InMail. But you have control through your account settings and options like unfollowing, blocking, and turning off requests.
Limiting messages to only your direct connections is the most restrictive option. Or you can leave messaging open but block InMails to prevent unknown people from messaging you.
With the right settings, you can filter out unwanted incoming messages while still keeping in touch with your core professional network on LinkedIn.