As you probably know by now, my purpose for using LinkedIn is to grow my LinkedIn training, consulting, and speaking business. I have a worldwide market, and thus I am pretty open on most LinkedIn fronts. 

However, many people ask me how they can tighten down their account a bit more than I do or even beyond LinkedIn's default settings. Here are some suggestions. 

1.  Hide your first-level connections from your network.

This is an all-or-nothing proposition -- everyone sees your network or no one sees it. See 5 Important LinkedIn Settings You May Have Missed for more details.
2.  Reduce the type and frequency of inbound LinkedIn emails.
Go to your settings by scrolling over your picture on the top right of any LinkedIn page. Select Privacy & Settings> Communications>Set the frequency of emails
Choose who can send you emails and with what frequency you'll receive those emails by clicking the pencil icon for the category.
There are 18 settings plus a setting for each of your LinkedIn groups. Take a few moments and review them in detail because you may not like the default LinkedIn has selected for you.
This is also where you can choose whether you want to receive those way-too-frequent Endorsement notifications (See the Notifications category under Email Frequency).

3.  Decide who you'll allow to send you invitations to connect.

You can limit connection requests to people who have your email address or who appear on a list you import into LinkedIn. Once again, access Privacy & Settings and then select Communications>Select who can send you invitations.

4.  Reduce the number of groups you are in and adjust the settings in each group.

The benefits of being in lots of LinkedIn groups are too numerous to mention here, but if you strategically decide to limit your group involvement, be sure to revise these settings: Set the frequency of group digest emails and Turn on/off group invitations. These are in the Groups, Companies & Applications tab under Privacy & Settings.

5.  Limit how much, if any, of your profile is visible to the general public.

Your LinkedIn profile typically comes up very high when people are searching your name on the internet. Adjust your settings to display all, some, or none of your LinkedIn profile in the "Google world."  This is done by choosing Privacy & Settings>Profile>Edit your public profile.

6.  Become invisible when you are "stalking" others.

The top rated feature from my last LinkedIn user survey was "Who's Viewed Your Profile." This is a great feature for you to see who is "stalking" you. However, if you don't want people to know when you've been checking them out, you can change your setting and be totally anonymous. But if you do this, you will no longer see the names of the people who have viewed your profile. Choose what works best for you by going to Privacy & Settings>Profile>Select what others see when you've viewed their profile.

7.  Tell LinkedIn you really don't want to hear from them.

Go to Privacy & Settings>Communications. Uncheck the boxes under Turn on/off participation in research and Turn on/off partner email. Then you won't get LinkedIn announcements, partner announcements, or invitations to be involved in research.

8.  Stop LinkedIn from using you as an advertising subject.

Did you ever see your smiling face included in a LinkedIn ad? Unless you tell them, "Heck no, I don't want to be in your ads," they can use your photo. Simply uncheck the two boxes in Manage Advertising Preferences found under the Account tab in your Privacy & Settings, and you will no longer be an internet star.

9.  Revise profile contact settings.

These settings are found in Privacy & Settings>Communications>Select the type of messages you're willing to receive. This setting helps people know what you want to be contacted for on Linkedin and whether you will accept Introductions and InMails.

10.  Take control of what shows up on your home page.

The more connections and groups you have, the busier your home page (dashboard) is.

Here are two ways to control what shows up on your home page:

1. Go to Privacy & Settings>Account>Customize 
the updates you receive on your homepage and decide what you want to see.

2. Click Hide when you scroll over to the right of a status update from someone in your network who is not following the all-important 6/3/1 rule and is posting updates too often or is sharing information you're just not interested in. You'll still be connected to the person, but you won't see any more of his/her status updates.

You have now customized your LinkedIn account for your current needs. But if you change your mind in the future, you can just readjust your settings. It's that simple.