Professional social media platforms, like LinkedIn, can be valuable networking tools. And although it may feel like these sites will be around forever, the truth is that there are no guarantees.
So it's always good to have a backup for your LinkedIn contacts — also known as connections — so that you don't lose touch in the future.
Here's what you need to do to export your first-connection LinkedIn contacts and create a valuable backup to your professional profile.
How to export your LinkedIn contacts
1. Go to linkedin.com and log into your account, if needed.
2. Click on the "Me" icon in the top toolbar and select "Settings & Privacy" in the dropdown.
3. If needed, click the "Privacy" tab at the top of the page (it may automatically open to this tab).
4. Select "How LinkedIn uses your data" in the sidebar.
5. Next to "Getting a copy of your data," select "Change."
6. Select the appropriate option (either download your larger data archive, or select certain bits of your data, like articles, connections, messages and invitations) — you'll get a download time estimate, and in general, the less data you choose to back up, the less time it will take to prepare.
7. Click "Request Data."
8. If prompted, enter your LinkedIn password.
The "Request Data" button should grey out and change to "Request Pending." LinkedIn will send you an email when the data is ready for you to download. Simply click the link provided, then select "Download Archive."