With over 300 million users, LinkedIn is the most popular social network among lawyers, with 55 percent of law firms maintaining a presence, according to the American Bar Association's 2013 Technology Survey Report. LinkedIn provides an excellent platform to connect with colleagues and other professionals, expand your professional network and build thought leadership – if you use it correctly and safely.
Here are 5 LinkedIn tips for lawyers:
1. Turn on two-step verification
This process makes it harder for unwanted parties to access your LinkedIn account. Instead of merely setting a strong password, you're also required to have a second piece of information in order to log in. LinkedIn uses the specific mobile device linked to the account for the two-step verification. If the account is being accessed by a different device, LinkedIn will require a code that's sent to your phone.
2. Set up secure browsing
LinkedIn only secures your browser when you're looking at a page that may contain sensitive information. Secure browsing encrypts your information so hackers can't steal it. To view all LinkedIn pages through a secure browser, go to Settings, click the Account tab then click Manage Security Settings. Check the box for secure browsing then Save Changes.
3. Manage your public information
While safety is paramount, you should make most, if not all, of your LinkedIn profile viewable to the public. Connections on LinkedIn are gained through visibility, so it's important everything on your profile is accurate and falls within your state's ethics rules. If you need to limit the amount of information open to the public, you can choose who can see your picture, headline, connections and network.
4. Activate (or deactivate) your broadcasts
If you're making changes to your profile that you don't want to share with your connections, turn off your activity broadcasts prior to making the modifications. If you'd like your connections to see your changes such as a new job, qualification or recommendation, make sure you have your broadcasts turned on. To turn your LinkedIn broadcasts on or off, go to Setting, click the Profile tab then click Turn on/off your activity broadcasts.
5. Check recommendations and endorsements
Research whether recommendations and endorsements displayed on your profile violate any of your state's ethics rules regarding testimonials. If they're not allowed, take them down. Even if they're OK, make sure none of the statements contain any false or misleading information, which will be unethical in any state.
Like any other social networking site, LinkedIn is advantageous until a security risk comes to light or a one-click endorsement ends up violating an ethics rule. These problems are easily avoided by taking advantage of LinkedIn's built-in security measures and by being conscious of what the public can view on your profile.