LinkedIn is a popular professional networking platform used by millions of people worldwide. While it offers great opportunities to connect and build your professional network, there are also risks associated with sharing personal information on LinkedIn. One common concern is how other users can get access to your phone number on LinkedIn without your consent.
There are a few ways someone can obtain your phone number from your LinkedIn profile. Here are some of the most common methods:
You included your phone number in your profile
The most straightforward way someone can get your number from LinkedIn is if you have included it in your profile information. Your phone number may be visible in these sections:
– Contact info section – This part of your profile is specifically for adding contact details like your phone number, email, Twitter handle, etc.
– Summary or experience descriptions – Some users add their phone number in the descriptive sections of their profile.
Before adding any sensitive information, always double check your profile settings to see who can view it. LinkedIn allows you to customize your contact info visibility to your network or keep it private.
You connected with them
When you connect with someone on LinkedIn or accept their connection invite, you grant them access to view your private contact info depending on your settings.
For example, if your phone number visibility is set to “Connections only,” any users in your network will be able to see your full phone number.
Be cautious when connecting with people you don’t know well or accepting invites from strangers. Review profiles carefully before connecting and limit access to sensitive info.
They upgraded to a premium account
LinkedIn Premium subscribers can view full contact details of other users, even if they’re not directly connected. Upgraded accounts unlock extra profile visibility depending on your settings.
For example, if you set your phone visibility to “Premium members,” anyone with a premium account can access your number without being a 1st-degree connection.
They’re connected to someone who has your info
On LinkedIn, contact info can sometimes be accessed by 2nd or 3rd-degree connections. For example, if you and Person A are connected, and Person A and Person B are also connected, Person B may be able to see limited info from your profile.
This depends on individual user settings, but something to be aware of. Tweak your profile visibility settings if you want to limit contact info access.
Your settings are too permissive
LinkedIn allows you to customize who can view your contact details, but the default is typically set to a more public option like “Your network.”
If you haven’t updated the permissions, it’s possible your phone number is visible to a wide audience. Double check your profile visibility settings and restrict access.
Your number is available elsewhere online
Information tends to spread easily on the internet. If your phone number is listed on other social networks, directories or public databases, someone could find it there and tie it back to your LinkedIn profile.
Do periodic searches for your own name and number to see what comes up. Opt-out of people search sites like Spokeo if needed.
Their account was compromised
In rare cases, someone’s LinkedIn account may get hacked or compromised. This could grant a bad actor temporary access to their connections’ private information.
If you suspect your number was obtained this way, report it to LinkedIn immediately so they can investigate. Make sure to use strong passwords and enable two-factor authentication.
How to stop your number from being visible
If you want to take back control of your phone number visibility on LinkedIn, here are some steps to update your settings:
Edit your profile
– Go to your profile and click “Edit public profile & URL”
– Find the contact info section and delete your phone number if it’s listed
– Remove your number from any other sections like summaries or descriptions
Adjust contact settings
– From your profile, click the “Me” icon and choose “Settings & Privacy”
– Go to “How others see your profile”
– For contact info visibility, choose “Only you” or “Your connections”
Limit premium account access
– Under “How others see your profile,” disable the option to allow premium members to view your number
Be selective with connections
– Review connection requests thoroughly before accepting
– Avoid connecting with strangers or distant acquaintances
– Occasionally prune connections you no longer interact with
Do regular searches for your info
– Search your name on Google to see what contacts and profiles show up
– Look yourself up on people search websites and opt-out if needed
– Set up Google Alerts for your name and number so you’re notified of new mentions
What to do if someone has your number without consent
Finding out someone has obtained your number from LinkedIn without your approval can be concerning. Here are some tips on what to do next:
Ask them to remove it
If you know the person, reach out and request they delete your number from their contacts and do not share it further. Be firm but polite in your ask.
Report them to LinkedIn
If it’s someone you don’t know or they won’t cooperate, report them to LinkedIn. This will alert customer service to investigate their account and activity.
Block contacts who misuse your info
Block any connections on LinkedIn that have accessed your data without permission so they can no longer view your profile or contact you.
Enable two-factor authentication
Two-factor authentication adds an extra layer of security to your account by requiring a code from your phone when logging in. This prevents unauthorized logins.
Change passwords and reset
Update your LinkedIn password and any other accounts that use similar credentials. Also review connected apps and remove any unknown or unused ones.
Be wary of phishing attempts
Scammers may try to leverage your number to phish for account or financial information. Use caution with unsolicited calls, texts, or emails referencing your number.
Legal options if misuse persists
For severe cases of phone number misuse from LinkedIn, you may have to consider legal action. Some options include:
Contact law enforcement
If someone is clearly cyberstalking you or using your number for malicious purposes like harassment or identity theft, contact the police. Stalking, threats, and identity theft may have criminal penalties.
Consult a lawyer about civil lawsuits
An attorney can advise if grounds may exist to pursue civil lawsuits for privacy violations, defamation, or disclosure of private facts. Legal action can seek monetary damages.
File DMCA takedown notices
If your number is posted on a website, file DMCA takedown requests to have that content removed. Most sites are required to comply with valid DMCA notices.
Submit removal requests to search engines
Ask Google, Yahoo, or other search providers to scrub listings containing your number from results. This helps delink your info from your name.
Hire a reputation management firm
Reputation companies have strategies to displace negative or unwanted search results with more positive content. This reduces the spread and visibility of your personal info.
Best practices for keeping your number secure
Here are some recommended tips for boosting your privacy and controlling your phone number visibility on LinkedIn:
Customize profile settings
Adjust your profile visibility preferences, especially for contact info. The stricter the settings, the better.
Be selective with your network
Don’t connect with everyone. Carefully evaluate requests and maintain contact only with those you trust.
Review visibility before applying
When applying for jobs through LinkedIn, double check that your number is not exposed without your consent.
Limit info on public profiles
Avoid listing your full number on any public-facing social media, personal websites, or online directories.
Periodically check search engine results
Routinely search your name and number and ask to have unwanted results removed. Monitor new mentions with alerts.
Use burner numbers strategically
When required to provide a contact number, consider using a temporary second phone line or Google Voice number.
Connect apps selectively
Don’t authorize unnecessary third-party apps to access your profile. Review permissions regularly.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is it illegal for someone to get my number from LinkedIn without my consent?
It’s typically not illegal as long as they obtained the number through normal use of LinkedIn’s systems. However, any subsequent harassment, stalking, or threats using that info can be illegal.
Can I sue LinkedIn if someone misused my number obtained from their platform?
You typically can’t sue LinkedIn directly in most cases. However, you may be able sue the user for privacy violations depending on the laws in your jurisdiction.
Should I include my phone number on my LinkedIn profile?
It’s not recommended. Listing your number provides little benefit and can substantially compromise your privacy. Exceptions can be made for certain fields like sales where direct contact is required.
What is the best way to remove my number from people search sites?
Most sites have opt-out procedures listed in their privacy policies. Submit removal requests and follow their specified processes. For resistant sites, legal action may be required.
Can I prevent search engines from indexing my phone number?
It’s challenging to prevent search engines from indexing publicly available info. Using tools like robots.txt files can help. Ultimately removing mentions entirely is the best protection.
Your LinkedIn connections and settings control who can view your phone number on the platform. However, once displayed, that information can spread online rapidly. Take proactive measures to lock down your number visibility in your profile settings and be cautious when connecting with new contacts. Act swiftly if your number is ever misused to get inaccurate or unwanted listings scrubbed from the internet to protect your privacy and prevent abuse.