How to Back Up Your LinkedIn Profile and Protect your Data

When was the last time you backed up your LinkedIn data and connections?

LinkedIn, and other social media platforms are great until they are broken.  One way to break your online profile is to make a mistake and have the account suspended.  Is it time to back up your LinkedIn profile?

If you rely on a social network such as LinkedIn as your only database, online dossier, and content source, there is a huge risk. We have little control over the platform and features, don’t ‘own’ our list on most platforms as the data is stuck in the platform.

LinkedIn isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, but don’t take the risk. As a safeguard, it is good practice to make a copy of your profile content, and your connections, just in case, and have strategies to drive connections to other places, one being your database.

Building Your Database

There are two types of database.

  1. The first is your marketing database. This is a permission-based list of people keen to hear more from you via marketing content generally as part of a mass mailout.  An opt-in process generally involves an exchange of value, such as a free ebook, checklist, or online course, in return for contact info.
  2. The second is your contact database. This is a list generally built from the contacts, customers, partners, and suppliers, used individually rather than in bulk. This list is best managed by a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tool such as Nimble, Insightly, Zoho, Sales Force or Infusionsoft, which allow for individual relationship management. I have tried many tools, but my tool of choice is Nimble as it offers so much more than contact management and works everywhere that I work.  Nimble was created by an early influencer in the CRM space, Jon Ferrara, who created contact management software Goldmine in the 80’s.

LinkedIn Connection Data

LinkedIn is a great place to hang out and is becoming cooler every week.  In fact according to LinkedIn, “social actions on the feed (likes, shares, comments, etc.) have grown by +60% year-over-year”, so this year engagement is at it’s highest. While it is THE place for professionals to hang out online, it is still important to create strategies to take your connections offline, into a phone call, meeting or onto your list.

The risk of leaving the contact in LinkedIn, is that the data isn’t in your control.  It is important to back up your data to ensure you have a copy just in case. If we rely on LinkedIn to manage our contacts, we are limiting the way we communicate and risk losing access. So how do we protect ourselves?

Back Up Your LinkedIn Profile

Unlike other social media platforms, LinkedIn allows you to download your data.  So be sure to do this on a regular basis.

On desktop LinkedIn go to your Settings& Privacy;

  • Move your cursor over your profile photo at the top right of your homepage and select Settings & Privacy.
  • On the Account tab scroll down to Download Your Data
  • Select The Works or Pick and Choose, then select the option you wish to download.
  • Click Request Archive

Some info is available within 10 minutes, other info is delivered in 24 hours.

Download Your Connections

Connections data is available almost instantly.  Select Pick and Choose, then tick the Connections box and request the archive.

Enter your password to confirm the request.


What is in the LinkedIn Data Archive?

Here is a list of the information available for download from LinkedIn:

Date and time your LinkedIn account was created, closed, or reopened.10 minutes10 minutes24 hours

Account status (history) 24 hours
Ads you’ve clicked List of the ads you’ve clicked on. 24 hours
Ad targeting criteria Information used to figure out what ads to show you. 24 hours
Causes you care about A list of causes you’ve included on your profile. 10 minutes
Certifications A list of certifications that you’ve included on your profile. 10 minutes
Comments Comments that you’ve made, (excluding Groups). It includes the date, the post URL, your comment, content type  (e.g. article, share, new position). 24 hours
Connections (1st degree) Connections you have on LinkedIn. 10 minutes
Contacts Contacts you’ve imported on LinkedIn. 10 minutes
Courses Courses you’ve taken and listed on your profile.
Email addresses A history of email addresses currently or previously associated with your account, when it was added (by you or a member importing contacts) and confirmed by you. 24 hours
Education Schools plus any details included like the dates you attended, degrees you earned, and activities you participated in.
Endorsements A list of skills, who and when you were endorsed you, the skill they endorsed you for, and the date of the endorsement. 10 minutes
Group comments Your comments posted in Groups, including the URL and title of the discussion, and the name of the group. 24 hours
Group likes Contains all texts “Liked” in your Group posts. 24 hours
Group posts Group post content including the post titles, time posted, group name, content and a link to the discussion. 24 hours
Honors Honors listed plus any details included like the description, date and who gave it to you.. 10 minutes
Inbox communication All the messages in your Messages, Sent, and Archive folders. The file includes the date of the messages, the messages themselves, the subject lines, and whether a message was incoming or outgoing. 10 minutes
Interests Interests you’ve listed on your profile. 10 minutes
Invitations Invitations sent and received by you. 24 hours
Languages Languages listed and the level of proficiency. 10 minutes
Likes Contains the updates you “Liked” except in Groups. It includes the date you “Liked” the update, the type and title of the post, and the content of the post, if available. It also includes the URL of the post, if available. 24 hours
Login attempts Shows all the stored account logins for your account. It includes the user agent provided by the application at the time, the IP address of the computer, date, time, and type of login.
Mobile apps Mobile device LinkedIn applications that are registered with your account. It also shows the date(s) they were registered. 24 hours
Name information The current name on your account and any previous name changes. 24 hours
Organizations Organizations you’ve listed on your LinkedIn profile. It includes details you’ve provided like the name and a description of the organization, along with your position and how long you were affiliated with it. 10 minutes
Notes and Tags Notes allow you to store information and action items for lead and account pages. Tags streamline your workflow by organizing your leads and accounts. 10 minutes
Patents Information about any patents listed with details such as issue date, filing number, etc. 10 minutes
Phone numbers Phone numbers associated with your LinkedIn account. 10 minutes
Photos Photos shared. 24 hours
Positions All the job roles listed including the name of the company, title, description, locations, and dates. 10 minutes
Profile information The basic biographical information including your first and last name and account creation date. 10 minutes
Projects Projects listed including the title and length of the project along with a description and any web address provided. 10 minutes
Publications A list of any publications listed. 10 minutes
Recommendations (received) All the recommendations you’ve received, including the name of the person who recommended you, the date of the recommendation, and whether you’re displaying it on your profile. 10 minutes
Recommendations (given) All recommendations you’ve given, including the name of the person you recommended and the date you wrote the recommendation. 10 minutes
Registration The date you registered on LinkedIn, the IP address you registered from, and the member who invited you, if there was one. It also shows your current subscription type. 24 hours
Search history A list of your recent searches on LinkedIn. 24 hours
Security challenges Contains a list of all the challenge events for your account.  It includes the date of the challenge, the IP address the login attempt was made from, the assumed country, and the type of challenge. 24 hours
Shares Everything you’ve shared or re-shared, plus posts on the homepage, company pages, and university pages. It includes the date, title, description, whether it was public or private (i.e. visibility), and a link to any images included or URL. Videos can be accessed via a link within the videos.csv file in the archive. 24 hours
Skills A list of all the skills you’ve added to your profile. 10 minutes

To request information not listed above,  complete LinkedIn’s Data Consent form for review.


Back Up Your LinkedIn Profile

In addition to the data download, which includes your profile info, you can do a good old copy and paste by copying your LinkedIn profile and pasting into a Word or Pages document.  (It is good practice in work offline anyway). You can also download as a PDF;

How Will You Use The Connection Data?

Now you have a back up of all your LinkedIn connections and their basic info. Use the data wisely.  We discussed the two type of databases that can be used to capture contact info.  One has a primary purpose of marketing, the other has a primary purpose of relationship management.   Consider these questions;

  • Do you have permission to add them to your marketing list?
  • Could you add them to Eventbrite and invite them to your next event?
  • Can you subscribe them to your monthly newsletter?

The answer is generally no.  Being connected on LinkedIn isn’t permission to receive marketing messages from you anywhere else.

Think about the law, the LinkedIn User Agreement and how you would feel if your data was abused. Also consider the risk of large fines for doing the wrong thing.  Big brands and individuals have been fined for breaching the Spam Act. Then think about how you can build better relationships.  A tool such as Nimble is a great way to do it on an individual level.  See my interview with Nimble CEO Jon Ferrera to understand how.

Back Up Your LinkedIn Profile

Download your data today, then add the activity to your recurring task lists to protect your data on a regular basis to protect the hard work that has gone into building your profile, building a network and building your personal and professional brand.

If you are not sure how, book a mentoring session with me where we can go through this virtually, using Zoom.



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