Have you ever looked around on the Internet for the email ID of someone important and come up with nothing more than their Google+ profile? As hard as you might have looked around on their Google+ profile, though, you’re unlikely to have turned up their Gmail ID – all Google+ has traditionally allowed you is the ability to contact the person you’re looking for through a Google+ message.
In January 2014, Google+ came up with a feature to help with this problem – one that will probably get people earnestly discussing social networks and privacy issues all over again. It allows anyone arriving on your Google+ account to send you an email directly to your Gmail inbox (rather than your Google+ account). It won’t matter that you’ve never shared your email ID with that person. Thankfully, they don’t get to actually see your email ID – Google hides it. They just get to send you an email.
Fortunately, unsolicited Google+ emails don’t drop into your primary Gmail inbox – they go into your social network inbox, instead. Such Google+ email senders can also only send you one unsolicited email – they can’t bombard you. To be able to send you more, they need to have you reply to them first.
Is there something you can do to keep people from stalking you?
The default setting on Google+ allows anyone at all to send you such unsolicited email. Fortunately, Google+ has privacy settings in place that allow you to completely lock out strangers who may wish to email you.
To set your privacy correctly to keep random social media emails out, you need to first sign into your Google+ account. Then, you click on the gearwheel icon on the top right of the screen, click on Settings and select the Email via Google+ . At this point, you’ll see a panel that asks you to set an answer to the question Who can email you via your Google+ profile .
You get to select one of four choices – Anyone on Google+ , Extended circles , Circles and No one . Once you make the changes you need and hit Save changes , you should be as safe from intrusive emails as you desire.
Should you use the No One selection?
The email feature on Google+ is actually a useful one – it does help people get in touch with you. For instance, if you forget to exchange mail contact information with a new business acquaintance that you make at the airport, on a plane or at a party or tradeshow, the email feature on Google+ can help you get back in touch with that person. If you’re an entrepreneur and only use your Google+ account to contact customers and business partners, you are unlikely to know a great many people who would be interested in bombarding you with unsolicited emails.
If you have used Google+ to socially get in touch with all kinds of friends and family, though, it might make sense to use the one of the more restrictive choices.