You may or may not know, but recently Google now allows Google+ users you don’t know to send messages (without knowing your email address) to your Gmail account. If you reply to a message this way then your email address will be visible to the other person. This new feature allows connections in your circles and from outside your circles to send you an email. Nice feature, but will I believe open up Gmail to inevitable abuse.
My concern with this default setting is it will leave the Gmail account exposed to spam, malicious emails and unsolicited emails, therefore exposing user privacy.
If you use Gmail, when you start typing the name of a person and there is a match in your Google+ circles, you will see their name and photo. Remember you can only send emails to your Google+ connections with the desktop version of Gmail. This feature isn’t available at time of writing on the mobile version of Gmail (any platform).
You can ‘opt out’ of this feature from your computer only:
- Log into Gmail and click the gear icon (settings) in the upper right corner
- If you use a phone or tablet click this https://mail.google.com/mail/?ui=2&nocheckbrowser=1#settings
- Make sure you are on the > General TAB and scroll down to the Email via Google+ section
- Click the drop-down menu and choose > No one
- Click Save Changes and you are done
Will people actually use the ‘opt out’? I think some people will. I do, to stop the unsolicited emails. I haven’t got time to read everything that is sent to my Gmail inbox, which actually isn’t tied to me Google+ account, so I’m one of the lucky ones. 🙂
Safe surfing folks!