three laptops with LinkedIn logo connected to the blue 3D word BACKUP

LinkedIn is a powerful career & sales tool because it helps us make connections and build relationships with people that evolve into job or sales opportunities. Through LinkedIn we’re able to build professional credibility with complete strangers by posting insightful content, receiving endorsements and personal recommendations from colleagues, engaging online, publishing personal blogs and crafting our profile pages in a way that showcases our abilities and or value we bring to our buyers. Indeed, millions of people turn to LinkedIn to learn about other people’s backgrounds and to get reliable information about businesses and other organizations.

Although we invest considerable time and care into updating and polishing our LinkedIn pages—both our individual page and our business pages—virtually no one thinks to create a backup of this content. But there are two main reasons we absolutely should be backing up our LinkedIn accounts on a regular basis:


  • Hackers can take control of your accounts: If a hacker takes control of your LinkedIn accounts, you may never be able to regain control of your accounts—and it may not be worth it anyway if all of your personal information, connections, and endorsements get erased or replaced.
  • You may violate LinkedIn’s terms of use: We’d probably all like to think LinkedIn is the benevolent curator and protector of our LinkedIn pages. But the reality is that LinkedIn has very specific rules and guidelines for use—and the company doesn’t mess around when it comes to those who violate its terms of use. Although rare, when LinkedIn finds that you’ve violated its terms of use, the company will terminate your account—and that decision is typically final and irreversible.

You violated their Terms

In cases where LinkedIn deletes your account for violating the terms of use, your profile page may be gone forever. All of the text you’ve carefully crafted about yourself is instantly erased. All of the private correspondence you’ve had with colleagues and recruiters becomes permanently inaccessible to you. And all of the connections and endorsements you’ve accumulated vanish forever. All the links you maybe have included from articles you were quoted in finished! Often, you’ll be forced to sign up for a new account and start over from scratch.

And what exactly are these terms of use that LinkedIn users violate? Unfortunately, there are many, and most users don’t bother to read the terms of use they’ve agreed to. Here are four reasons (knowingly or unknowingly) why your LinkedIn profile might violate the company’s user agreement:

  • You’re not supposed to invite people you don’t know to join your network: If you’re trying to build up your personal network or make contact with specific people, you probably will ask people you’ve never met to be part of your LinkedIn network. Although users do it all the time, it’s technically a violation of LinkedIn’s user agreement.
  • You’re not supposed to upload profile photos that aren’t of you: Not everyone feels comfortable uploading a classic head-and-shoulders shot to LinkedIn. It’s not uncommon to find very non-standard photos on LinkedIn, such as symbols, logos, cartoons, and images that convey political or social messages. However, you’re only allowed to upload traditional head-and-shoulders photos that are your likeness. Here is a great article to help you with your picture problem.
  • You’re not supposed to include information that’s not asked for: LinkedIn profiles are made up of a series of sections that require you to input specific information. If you put the wrong information in the wrong box, such as web links and non-relevant promotional material, you could be in violation of LinkedIn’s user agreement.
  • You’re not supposed to copy and/or plagiarize someone else’s work: As much as you may want to use a portion of someone else’s text for your own profile, if someone complains you could unknowingly be in violation of LinkedIn’s user agreement.

How to Backup your LinkedIn Account in the New User Interface

Backing up your profile on a routine MONTHLY basis is, fortunately, a piece of cake. You can manually copy and paste all of your text into a separate text file, or you can take screenshots of your pages. Or go the easy way! As LinkedIn also offers us the ability to create a free backup at any time of all of our LinkedIn data, posts, and connections; you save this backup file to your own hard drive. Simply go to request a data archive:

  1. Click the “Me” icon at top of your LinkedIn homepage.
  2. Click “Settings & Privacy.
  3. On the Account tab under Basics, click “Change” next to Getting an archive of your data.

Note: You may be prompted to sign in.

  1. This will take you to the “Request your data archive” page.

Our LinkedIn profiles are incredibly valuable to us, but also incredibly vulnerable to being compromised by a hacker or being removed for violating LinkedIn’s terms of use. We can only do so much to prevent our account from being compromised by a cyberattack, but we can always make a concerted effort to follow LinkedIn’s user agreement, including not inviting people we don’t know to join our network, not uploading a profile picture that’s not our likeness, not inserting information that isn’t asked for, and not plagiarizing and copying someone else’s profile.

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