I’ve been trying to rein in all of the apps, sites and utilities that have access to my various social media profiles and realized that LinkedIn also allows third parties to access my personal data. Not good. How can I see – and delete – any apps that have gained access to my LI profile?
You are correct that LinkedIn allows other applications and Web sites access to your personal profile and data, but it’s a bit unfair to suggest that you don’t have control over the situation. In fact, you must have at some point granted these other sites or apps permission to access your data. Well, except for Microsoft Word, that is, but we’ll come back to that. Overall, however, LinkedIn is pretty cautious with your personal data and doesn’t just grant third party apps access without you being actively involved.
The problem with all of these sites, however, is that there’s never a timed access. You can’t tell Facebook that a site can access your profile information for two weeks and then have it automatically disabled, or Twitter or LinkedIn. So the real security risk comes from sites you enabled months or even years ago and have since forgotten about entirely. Once granted permission, these apps have access to your data forever. And that, as they say in song lyrics, is a long time.
Fortunately you can check app access on your LinkedIn account with just a few clicks, and with one additional click remove that access, whether it’s been there for a few days or a decade. To start, log in to your LinkedIn account on a Web browser and go to “Settings & Privacy” off the main menu:
It’s the first entry under “Account“. There are a lot of settings and privacy settings both once you get to that area of LinkedIn. It’s rather overwhelming:
Many things to explore, but notice how the default option is Data privacy > How LinkedIn uses your data. Handy, that, as it’s probably one of the most common areas for people to visit on the popular pro networking site. Definitely things to explore here too, but for our task, you want to stay in this section but scroll down until you reach “Other applications“:
You can see that I have granted three different apps access to my personal data (“3 connected apps” under Permitted services) and that I have apparently allowed Microsoft Word to access my LinkedIn Profile within its “Resume Assistant” feature. That latter one’s a bit odd, actually, because while I have the Microsoft Office suite and a subscription to Office 365 (the online version of MS office) I definitely did not grant that permission because I haven’t worked on a resume in many years. So apparently after LinkedIn was purchased by Microsoft, integration of this feature and enabling its access from your LinkedIn account was enabled automatically, by default.
Can’t say I’m a fan of sites that add a new feature related to data privacy and then enable it by default, but at least you now know and might opt to disable it. That’s done by clicking anywhere in the Microsoft Word area:
A click on the “Yes” control and you’ve disabled this feature. You can, of course, always re-enable it later if needed.
But what about Permitted Services? Click on that area on the page instead and it expands to display more information and a list of the apps currently allowed access to your LinkedIn profile data:
As you can see, CES 2021, GLG Application and Rapportive have all been granted permission to access my LinkedIn profile. Each was useful when I went through their application processes, but now that I have a relationship with each organization, they do not need further access to my LinkedIn profile.
That’s easily remedied by clicking on the “Remove” link adjacent to each permitted service. No confirmation, no warning, it just vanishes. Clean it up as desired and eventually you’ll just have either the one or two apps you do want to have access or go back down to zero. Either way, now you know!
Pro Tip: I’ve been on LinkedIn almost since the very beginning and have written extensively about how to get the most out of the online service. Please check out my LinkedIn help library while you’re visiting for lots more tutorials! Thanks.