It’s drummed into us a lot lately about cyber security, identity theft and fraud, and some people feel that having your birthday on your LinkedIn profile increases your risk of exposure to these types of activities.

Why, you may ask?

While birthdays may seem like a harmless detail, they can be a gateway for potential fraudsters, especially when combined with other personal information available on your profile.

Keep reading to learn how you can hide birthday on LinkedIn!

Understanding the Risks

When you add your birthday to your LinkedIn profile, you’re given a choice about who can see this information.

You can choose either Only you (which includes LinkedIn!), or Your connections or Your network, or All LinkedIn Members.

However, the broader your setting, the more people have access to your birthday.

This exposure could lead to unintended risks, especially if you have other personal details listed. For instance, if your education history is on your profile, it’s not challenging to deduce your year of birth.

Posting about age-specific milestones, like turning a specific age, further compounds this risk by providing potential scammers with precise information.

Now you might think that’s ok, but if you have your education listed on your profile it doesn’t take Sherlock Holmes to work out your year of birth too.

Also, if you go on to post something such us “50 today”, you’ve given them the year of your birth, in addition to your name and the month and day of your birthday, so your connections, networks or all LinkedIn members now have two key bits of information about you which could be used by potential fraudsters.

Adjusting Your Birthday Privacy Settings

To mitigate these risks, LinkedIn offers flexible privacy settings for your birthday information. Here’s a step-by-step guide to adjust these settings:

  1. Click the “Me” icon at the top of your LinkedIn homepage.
  2. Select “View profile.”
  3. Go to “Contact info” in your introduction section.
  4. In the pop-up window, click the “Edit” icon.
  5. Fill out the Birthday date in the “Edit contact” info pop-up.
  6. Click “Birthday visible to” and choose your preference from the four options:
    • Only you: Visible only to you.
    • Your connections: Visible to members directly connected to you.
    • Your network: Visible to LinkedIn members connected up to three degrees away from you.
    • All LinkedIn members: Visible to all LinkedIn members.

If you want to avoid the risk of identity theft or fraud you can either not enter your birthday on LinkedIn at all (it’s not a necessary requirement) by simply choosing Month and Day in the birthday options box (as opposed to any dates), or you can choose to make your birthday only visible to you – although I’m not sure why you’d need to do this unless you forget your own birthday!

Now some of you might ask why I have my birthday on my profile, well it is simply that every year 40+ people say “Congrats” to me which highlights who I haven’t trained yet!

Making an Informed Choice

Deciding whether to display your birthday on LinkedIn is a personal choice.

If you prefer not to share this information, you can choose not to enter your birthday at all.

Alternatively, if you enjoy receiving birthday wishes, you might opt to share it with a wider audience. Remember, even if you choose to share your birthday, you can still control the visibility of the year, or hide birthday on LinkedIn altogether, reducing the risk of identity theft or fraud.

Final Thoughts

Now you know how to hide birthday on LinkedIn.

While your birthday is just one piece of personal information, in the realm of online security, every detail counts.

By carefully managing your birthday visibility on LinkedIn, you can enjoy the platform’s networking benefits while safeguarding your personal information.

Now, go ahead and enjoy your birthday, knowing your LinkedIn settings are tailored to your comfort level and security needs.