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Have you tried LinkedIn's new Member Blocking feature to prevent stalkers?

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If you've been eagerly anticipating the day when you could block a specific user from viewing your LinkedIn Profile, you're in luck!

LinkedIn recently announced the rollout of Member Blocking, a new capability that allows you to specify the names of users you want to prohibit from viewing your data on the site.

Hailed by account holders as a method of preventing stalker access, Member Blocking was built in response to a growing volume of requests from LinkedIn users who found their workplaces, city of residence, and other details were viewable to potentially dangerous contacts.

Member Blocking requires that you visit the Profile page of the offending party, and choose the “Block or report” option from the Send InMail dropdown list.

There's a bit more to know, however, about what really happens when you block another member, with steps to take if you truly want to avoid releasing details to a potential stalker:

1 – LinkedIn Member Blocking completely prevents stalkers from viewing your Profile - and in turn, prevents you from reviewing their details.

When you take the above-mentioned step to block another user, he or she will not be able to see your Profile, contact you, or see you in "Who’s Viewed Your Profile.”

You will also be removed from suggestions such as “People You May Know” and “Viewers of this Profile also viewed” lists.

Conversely, you will also be unable to see the blocked member’s Profile, and if he or she has recommended you, these Recommendations will be removed.

2 – LinkedIn Member Blocking works ONLY inside the site.

If your Public Profile is visible (“Make my public profile visible to everyone” is checked), all the stalker will need to do is search for you on Google, Yahoo, or another search engine.

All of the details you have checked in Public Profile settings will then be 100% viewable.

Therefore, the next step you’ll need to take (if you’re serious about preventing someone else from seeing your Profile details) is to select “Edit your public profile” by choosing Settings and then Profile. You’ll see this option under Helpful Links.

Then, uncheck the option for visibility.

Keep in mind that a Profile is sometimes findable even when it’s not set to public, although this may require advanced Google search techniques. (See LinkedIn Hacks That Will Make Your Job Search 1,000 Times Easier for more information.)

3 – LinkedIn Member Blocking does NOT affect views by Anonymous users.

Remember that LinkedIn’s Anonymous users are often recruiters, HR executives, or LinkedIn experts who use the site for research - not necessarily people who intend to cause you harm. This article explains Anonymous User visits in more detail.

Anonymous visitors on LinkedIn are NOT cause for concern! If there’s a specific person you want to block from viewing your details, you’ll be able to use Member Blocking to ensure that he or she is not among these stealth users.

To be clear, if you were able to block Anonymous users, this would defeat the purpose of using LinkedIn for your job search. Hiring authorities are likely to continue using this capability in order to avoid being deluged with inquiries (which could slow the hiring process considerably).

In summary, LinkedIn’s new Member Blocking will prove to be a valuable tool, but only if you use it with full knowledge of its impact and limitations.

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