Are Messages on LinkedIn Private? (Expert Advice)

Are Messages on LinkedIn Private? (Expert Advice)

Arif Chowdhury
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Last Updated on September 19, 2023 by Arif Chowdhury

LinkedIn serves as a widely-used platform where professionals can connect and interact with their peers. Whether you’re seeking new career opportunities, looking to engage potential clients, or eager to share your expertise, LinkedIn can be an invaluable tool to help you reach your objectives.

However, you might be pondering a fundamental query:

  • Are the messages you exchange on LinkedIn truly private?
  • How can you safeguard your privacy while utilizing this messaging feature?

Indeed, messages sent on LinkedIn are private in nature. When you send a message to another LinkedIn user, it remains exclusively visible to you and the intended recipient. LinkedIn strongly emphasizes preserving the confidentiality and privacy of your messages, ensuring that they are inaccessible to other users unless you opt to share them or if the recipient chooses to take that action.

In the course of this blog post, we will not only address these concerns but also equip you with essential insights on how to utilize LinkedIn messages both effectively and securely. Our discussion will encompass the following key areas:

  1. The Varieties of LinkedIn Messages: We will delineate the different types of messages available within the LinkedIn messaging system, helping you discern when and how to employ them to your advantage.
  2. The Mechanics of LinkedIn Messages: Delving into the inner workings of LinkedIn messages, we’ll elucidate how these communications operate, providing you with a comprehensive understanding of their functionality.
  3. Configuring Privacy Settings: We’ll guide you through the process of configuring your privacy settings for LinkedIn messages, allowing you to tailor your messaging experience to your specific needs and preferences.
  4. Maintaining Privacy: We will offer practical advice and strategies to help you uphold your privacy while making use of LinkedIn messages, ensuring that your interactions on the platform remain secure and discreet.

So, let’s get started.

The Types of LinkedIn Messages

LinkedIn provides users with four primary message types, each serving distinct communication purposes:

  1. Direct Messages: Direct messages are the most common and straightforward means of communication on LinkedIn. You can send these messages to individuals who are your first-degree connections, i.e., those you’re directly connected to. You can also message LinkedIn members with open profiles, meaning they allow anyone to message them without connection restrictions. You can also respond to direct messages from anyone, regardless of their connection status.
  2. Open Profile Messages: Open profile messages are essentially direct messages that you can send to anyone who has an open profile, even if they are not in your first-degree network. You can easily spot an open profile by the envelope icon displayed next to their name on their profile or in search results. The number of open profile messages you can send per month depends on your LinkedIn subscription level and can go up to 300 messages.
  3. InMail: InMail messages provide a way to send direct messages to any LinkedIn member, regardless of your connection status or their profile settings. To utilize InMail, you must have a premium subscription or purchase InMail credits. Depending on your subscription level, you can send up to 100 InMail messages per month.
  4. Sponsored Messages: Sponsored messages are a powerful tool to reach a targeted audience of LinkedIn members based on their profile data and behavior. To utilize this feature, you’ll require a LinkedIn advertising account and must pay for each message you send. Sponsored messages are typically employed for promotional purposes, such as announcing new product launches, offering discount codes, or inviting members to webinars.

To provide you with a better understanding of how to use each type effectively:

  • Direct Messages: These are perfect for reaching out to your current connections, including colleagues, clients, mentors, or friends. They’re also handy for post-event follow-ups or connecting with individuals you’ve met at networking events.
  • Open Profile Messages: Use these to initiate contact with LinkedIn members who aren’t yet in your network but have open profiles. This is especially useful when seeking advice, feedback, referrals, or expressing your interest in collaboration or learning from them.
  • InMail Messages: InMail is your go-to when you need to contact someone outside your network with no open profile. It’s great for pitching products or services, inviting individuals for interviews, requesting introductions, or offering compliments on someone’s work or achievements.
  • Sponsored Messages: Sponsored messages are ideal for mass outreach to potential customers or leads that match your specific criteria. These messages are useful for promoting product launches, offering discounts, or inviting members to webinars, thereby expanding your reach.

Recommended Reading: LinkedIn Message Check Mark: What Does This Mean?

How LinkedIn Messages Work?

LinkedIn takes robust measures to safeguard the privacy and security of its messaging system. According to LinkedIn’s privacy policy, they employ industry-standard safeguards to protect users’ personal information, including the messages they send and receive. This protection encompasses both the transmission and storage of messages.

The encryption techniques employed by LinkedIn include SSL/TLS (Secure Sockets Layer/Transport Layer Security) for secure data transmission and AES-256 (Advanced Encryption Standard with a 256-bit key) for data storage encryption. These encryption methods help ensure that your messages remain confidential and inaccessible to unauthorized parties.

In the context of message visibility, LinkedIn messages are inherently private. They are only visible to the sender and the intended recipient by default. However, it’s important to note that users have control over the sharing and reporting of messages. If a message is manually shared or reported for inappropriate conduct, it may be subject to further examination by LinkedIn.

As specified in LinkedIn’s user agreement, users retain ownership of the content, feedback, and personal information they provide to the platform. This grants users the authority to determine who can access their messages and how they are utilized.

LinkedIn offers flexibility in managing messages. You can access and handle your messages directly through the LinkedIn platform, whether on the website, mobile app, or desktop app. Additionally, you have the option to receive email notifications when you receive a message on LinkedIn.

This feature allows you to conveniently reply to messages directly from your email inbox without the need to log in to LinkedIn, enhancing your messaging experience’s ease of use and accessibility.

Recommended Reading: 7 Best AI LinkedIn Post Generator Tools in 2023 (Reviewed)

How to Configure Privacy Settings for LinkedIn Messages?

To manage and tailor your LinkedIn messaging experience according to your preferences, you can access and modify your settings through the following steps:

  1. Click on the “Me” icon located at the top right corner of any LinkedIn page.
  2. Select “Settings & Privacy” from the dropdown menu.
  3. Within the settings, navigate to the “Communications” tab and click on “Messaging” in the left sidebar.

Now, here are some valuable tips and best practices for configuring your messaging settings based on different situations and preferences:

  • Open Profile Option: If you wish to receive more messages from individuals who are not currently in your connections, consider enabling the “Open Profile” option. This feature allows anyone to message you for free and can enhance your visibility on LinkedIn. However, if you’d like to limit the number of messages you receive from strangers or set a custom message limit, you have the flexibility to disable this option or adjust the settings accordingly.
  • Read Receipts and Typing Indicators: To gain insight into the other person’s engagement and responsiveness, you can enable the “Read receipts and typing indicators” option. This will notify you when someone has read your message or is in the process of composing a reply. On the other hand, if you value privacy or prefer not to feel pressured to respond quickly, you can opt to disable this option.
  • Email Notifications: If you want to stay updated and ensure you don’t miss important messages, you can enable the “Email Frequency” option. This setting will send email notifications when you receive messages on LinkedIn. However, if you prefer to reduce inbox clutter or minimize distractions, you can disable this option or select a lower email frequency that aligns with your needs.
  • Smart Replies and Suggestions: If you’d like assistance in crafting messages and want to streamline your communication, consider enabling the “Smart replies and suggestions” option. This feature provides you with suggested responses and phrases that you can use as-is or customize to your liking. However, if you prefer to compose your own messages or want to maintain a more personalized tone, you have the option to disable this feature.

Recommended Reading: 8 Best LinkedIn Post Mockup Generator Tools in 2023 (Reviewed)

How to Maintain Privacy While Using LinkedIn Messages?

While LinkedIn messages can be a valuable tool for professional communication and career advancement, it’s important to remain vigilant and protect your privacy and security. Here are some strategies to help you avoid spam, phishing, scams, and other malicious activities that may target your LinkedIn messages:

  1. Maintain Professionalism: Always communicate in a professional and courteous manner when sending and receiving messages on LinkedIn. Avoid using abusive, offensive, or inappropriate language or content. Do not engage in harassment, bullying, or threats. It’s essential to adhere to LinkedIn’s terms of service and code of conduct. If you encounter an unwanted or inappropriate message, promptly report it to LinkedIn or block the sender.
  2. Exercise Caution with Links and Attachments: Be cautious when opening or clicking on links and attachments in LinkedIn messages. Avoid opening anything that appears suspicious, unfamiliar, or irrelevant. Never provide personal, financial, or credential information in response to any message request. Refrain from downloading or installing software or applications suggested in messages. If you suspect a message is fraudulent or malicious, report it to LinkedIn or delete it.
  3. Selective Connection Requests: Be selective and strategic when accepting or sending connection requests on LinkedIn. Avoid accepting or sending requests to individuals you don’t know or trust. Be cautious about connecting with profiles that seem fake, incomplete, or unrelated to your professional network. Watch out for hidden agendas or ulterior motives. If you receive a connection request that doesn’t meet your criteria, you can choose to ignore it or decline it.
  4. Effective Messaging Practices: Optimize your use of LinkedIn messages to achieve your goals efficiently and effectively. Avoid sending too many messages at once or sending messages too frequently, as this can be perceived as spammy behavior. Strive to strike a balance in your messaging length, avoiding messages that are excessively long or overly brief. Keep your messages relevant and on-topic. Refrain from sending overly promotional messages. Consider using tools and strategies like automation, filters, and templates to enhance your messaging experience while ensuring it remains respectful and purposeful.

Recommended Reading: 8 Best LinkedIn Hashtag Generator in 2023 (Reviewed)

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can you privately message someone on LinkedIn?

You can indeed send private messages to someone on LinkedIn through various means:

  1. Connected Contacts: If you are already connected with the person on LinkedIn, you can send them a private message directly. To do this, visit their profile and click the “Message” button.
  2. Open Profiles: If the person has an open profile, you can also send them a private message, even if you’re not connected. Open profiles allow anyone to message the profile owner. You can identify an open profile by the envelope icon next to their name on their profile or in search results.
  3. Premium Subscription or InMail Credits: With a premium LinkedIn subscription or InMail credits, you gain the ability to send private messages to anyone on the platform, regardless of your connection status or their profile settings. To use this feature, you can go to the person’s profile and click the “Message” button.

Here’s a general process for sending a private message on LinkedIn:

  • Visit the LinkedIn profile of the person you want to message.
  • Click on the “Message” button, which is typically located near the top of their profile.
  • A message window will open. Type your message in the provided text box.
  • After composing your message, click the “Send” button to deliver it.

This straightforward messaging system allows you to initiate private conversations with your connections, open profile owners, or anyone on the platform if you have a premium subscription or InMail credits, making it a versatile tool for professional communication and networking.

Can others see your LinkedIn messages?

LinkedIn takes privacy and security seriously, and your LinkedIn messages are indeed private and not visible to others unless you choose to share them or report them to LinkedIn for inappropriate conduct. These messages are encrypted and protected from unauthorized access, ensuring that they remain confidential between you and the person you are communicating with.

However, it’s vital to exercise caution when dealing with links or attachments within messages, as they could potentially contain malicious content, such as malware or phishing attempts. Staying vigilant and following best practices for online security is essential to safeguard your privacy and personal information while using LinkedIn or any other online platform.

What happens when you message someone on LinkedIn?

When you send a message to someone on LinkedIn, they typically receive a notification, either on the platform itself or via email, depending on their individual settings and preferences. This notification informs them that they have received a new message.

Here’s how the messaging process generally works on LinkedIn:

  1. Notification: The recipient will receive a notification on LinkedIn or in their email inbox, notifying them that they have a new message.
  2. Accessing Messages: They can access and read your message by visiting the LinkedIn website, using the mobile app, or the desktop app. Additionally, they have the option to reply to your message directly from their LinkedIn inbox.
  3. Email Integration: LinkedIn allows users to reply to messages directly from their email inbox without the need to log into LinkedIn. This provides a convenient way to respond to messages while using email.
  4. Read Receipts and Typing Indicators: If both you and the recipient have enabled the “Read receipts and typing indicators” option, you can see when they have read your message and when they are in the process of typing a reply. This feature can help gauge the other person’s interest and responsiveness.
  5. Active Status: If the recipient has enabled the “Active status” option, you may also see their online status, indicating whether they are currently active on LinkedIn. This feature can be useful for determining when it’s an appropriate time to engage in real-time messaging.

LinkedIn’s messaging system offers several features to enhance communication and make it more responsive, allowing users to engage in timely and efficient conversations on the platform.

Recommended Reading: 6 Best LinkedIn Recommendation Generators in 2023 (Reviewed)

How secure is LinkedIn chat?

LinkedIn chat is secure due to encryption measures such as SSL/TLS and AES-256 for message transmission and storage. However, practicing wise and secure usage is crucial for maintaining your privacy and security.

Here’s a recap of some best practices to ensure a secure and professional experience while using LinkedIn chat:

  1. Professional and Courteous Communication: Maintain a professional and courteous tone when sending and receiving messages on LinkedIn. Keep conversations respectful and adhere to LinkedIn’s code of conduct. Professionalism is key when networking and communicating with others on the platform.
  2. Caution with Links and Attachments: Exercise caution when it comes to opening or clicking on links and attachments within messages. Always verify the source and relevance of links and attachments to avoid potential malware or phishing attempts.
  3. Selective Connection Requests: Be selective and strategic when accepting or sending connection requests on LinkedIn. Connect with individuals you know and trust or those who align with your professional goals. Avoid connecting with profiles that appear fake or unrelated to your network.
  4. Efficient and Purposeful Communication: Use LinkedIn chat efficiently and effectively to achieve your goals. Avoid sending an excessive number of messages at once or inundating contacts with frequent messages. Keep your messages relevant and to the point, and avoid sending spammy or promotional content.

Is LinkedIn’s private mode fully private?

LinkedIn’s private mode, although marketed as a privacy feature, does come with certain limitations. When you enable LinkedIn private mode, your profile information, including your name, headline, and profile picture, remains hidden from the person whose profile you’re viewing.

However, it’s important to note that they will still be aware that an anonymous user has checked out their profile. Basic details like your industry, location, or job title may also be visible to them.

It’s essential to understand that LinkedIn’s private mode exclusively affects your profile viewing activity. Other aspects of your presence on the platform, such as your posts, comments, likes, shares, and messages, remain unaffected.

To bolster your privacy on LinkedIn comprehensively, you should consider adjusting your account settings and preferences accordingly.

Can you read a message on LinkedIn without them knowing?

Certainly, you have the option to read a message on LinkedIn without the sender being notified by disabling the “Read receipts and typing indicators” feature in your settings and preferences. By doing so, you prevent the other person from knowing when you’ve read their message or when you’re in the process of composing a reply.

However, it’s worth noting that this action also means you won’t be able to see when they’ve read your message or when they’re typing a response.

Before making this decision, it’s essential to weigh the advantages and disadvantages of using this feature, as it can impact the transparency and communication dynamics in your LinkedIn conversations.


We’ve addressed the question of whether messages on LinkedIn can be considered private. The answer is affirmative, but it comes with a caveat – ensuring privacy requires thoughtful and secure usage. Furthermore, we’ve offered valuable insights on how to utilize LinkedIn messages both efficiently and securely.

We trust that this blog post has proven to be a valuable source of information and guidance for you. Should you have any questions or comments, please don’t hesitate to share them below. Your feedback is greatly appreciated.

Thank you for taking the time to read!