If you have a Google+ social networking account, your private email address just got a whole lot less private. This week, Google announced that your Google+ connections can now email you, regardless of whether you’ve exchanged emails with them in the past.
Your email address won’t be made known to people unless you send them an email, and you’ll need to agree to the bombardment before someone can start multiple email conversations with you. Still, there are plenty of safety and common sense reasons to not want relative strangers sending mail to your primary email address, even once.
Thankfully, Google lets you opt out of the new feature. To do so, sign in to your Gmail account on your computer and click the tiny cogwheel icon that appears in the top right hand corner of the webpage. Choose Settings, and then scroll down to check the “Email via Google+” setting. You can then use the drop down to control who will be able to send you messages on Google+ – everyone, your immediate friends, friends of friends, or no one. Even if you don't use the Google+ network, you'll want to check this setting just in case.
It’s an unfortunate reality that Google makes a lot of its money by encouraging you to be less private. As such, the company adds and changes settings frequently, so we recommend you keep an eye your other Google privacy settings, as well.
[Email icons via Shutterstock]