If you take part in Facebook, LinkedIn, or one of many other social networks, you’ve probably noticed advertising that features photos of one or more of your friends indicating that they’re taking part in something you aren’t. This form of advertising appeals to a sense of peer pressure and appears to be part of a normal built-in feature of the network. Unfortunately, it isn’t. This is an advertisement like any other, and the clever use of tools provided by the network has proven to have dramatic results for the advertiser. What’s more disturbing is that LinkedIn has this ability toggled on by default, meaning that while you can choose to disable advertisers using your photo in ads that deceive your connections, it isn’t something that it tells you about or offers to you before turning it on. Here’s how to disable LinkedIn’s use of your photo for advertising:

How to Disable LinkedIn's Use of Your Photo for AdvertisingThankfully, there are only a few basic steps required on your part to disable this “feature.”

  • Log in to LinkedIn
  • Hover the mouse cursor over your name on the upper-right area of the page and select Settings.
  • Select the Account tab located on the left side of the center panel in your settings page.
  • Click Manage Social Advertising, located at the top of the Privacy Controls portion of the Account menu.
  • Remove the checkmark from the box labeled LinkedIn may use my name, photo in social advertising.
  • Click Save.

That should do it. At this point, your image should no longer be used in tricky and dubious advertising targeted to your connections. Having this kind of ad with your photo on it can leave a bad impression (though not really warranted) of you based on the experience others have with your image. When first and second impressions matter, any little disruption or disappointment associated with your profile is something you surely want to avoid.