Why you should keep your address book off LinkedIn

Why you should keep your address book off LinkedInI admit, I had my email address book connected to LinkedIn and even liked it. It was an easy way to keep up with my network and LinkedIn was doing some of my work for me by reminding me to make contact with my connections and invite my email contacts into LinkedIn.

Sending Accidental Address Book Invitations

Until this morning, when I got a frantic call from a client who had accidentally emailed people he didn’t even know with LinkedIn Invites. Over night, he had sent out 900+ invites and somehow since he is connected to me, he also was connecting with my whole network and the networks of everyone he had been in contact with previously.

Now I love my network and I am happy to have my network know each other but this was not his plan or mine. It was all accidental. Together, we made corrections and deleted invites. I coached him on what not to touch in LinkedIn so it won’t happen again. It’s the add connections invite that got him into trouble as soon as he said it was OK to add in his email contacts, he was channeled into letting LinkedIn pull all kinds of information and automate the process. I think he may have said yes to a connect with all button on the people you may know section which would suggest connections based on both his network and the connections his network had already in their own LinkedIn Accounts. When you are not sure about what something is asking, you are better off with a “No.”

Connect on LinkedIn one by one

We agreed that he would connect one by one on LinkedIn and stay away from the continue button which got him into trouble. I taught him how to explain the situation to anyone who contacted him with a question about why they should connect. But I don’t think he is a solitary case. LinkedIn has made it far to easy to add in multiple address books and though they promise you privacy, it doesn’t protect you from mass generation of invitations.

I also disconnected my own email account from LinkedIn today. Nice features or not, it is way to easy to have an accident happen. Though my inviting strategy has always been personalized and one-by-one, I decided that I’d rather keep my contacts separate.

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  1. Bridget (Weide) Brooks, CPRW on November 25, 2013 at 4:29 pm

    This is a common mistake, Julie — thanks for alerting jobseekers to it! In fact, there were numerous articles about this a few weeks ago. Here’s one:

    This LinkedIn thread gives people instructions for how to withdraw Invitations (the process you helped your client with) — but it’s interesting to note that these withdrawn Invitations are “gone” forever from your limited supply (most users are authorized to send 3,000 Invitations)!

  2. Julie Walraven on November 25, 2013 at 6:24 pm

    Thanks for stopping by, Bridget. Yes, I knew about the issues of LinkedIn harvesting information but in reality, this was more of an accidental case of letting LinkedIn send mass invites for you. I had checked with LinkedIn for instructions on how to remove them prior to starting our project today. I didn’t catch the 3,000 limit but I doubt that would effect most people since even with removing 900+, most people normally have a much lower LinkedIn community. Add to that the fact that most people both give and get invites, there is little risk of running out for the normal person. I do suppose it could affect a power user but again that’s not the norm.

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