UPDATE: It appears Google is sending out different emails, and for some users, is setting it to “Anyone on Google+” by default instead of “Circles.”
While it’s currently unclear why this is, it could be based on how many followers one has or how active one is to encourage more use.
Google+ is the redheaded stepchild of social media, and when Google announced integration of Google+ connections in Gmail yesterday, there were understandable worries:
As someone w/ a dozen Gmail accounts, I’m opting out of this NOW :: Gmail allows anyone on Google+ to email you https://t.co/YP1aumF7mu
— Lauren Girardin (@girardinl) January 10, 2014
Any Google+ User Can Now Email You Without Your Address https://t.co/NDzt8jC5Sf – and this is not a good move, @google.
— Franz Vitulli (@franzvitulli) January 10, 2014
So, Gmail have ‘improved our user experience’ by letting complete strangers fill our inboxes with spam, how kind.
— Veronica (@VeronicaM1967) January 10, 2014
Whether you love or hate Google+, that’s not what this post is about. What it is about is the worry that your Gmail can now be spammed by random, unknown people you’ve never met or seen before.
However, in an email sent out to Gmail users, it’s clear that’s not the case, unless you set it up that way.
Your email address isn’t visible to your Google+ connections until you send them an email, and their email addresses are not visible to you until they respond.
If you don’t respond to an email sent from a Google+ user, your email address will not be exposed.
Because you have a lot of followers on Google+, only people in your circles can contact you by default.
Unless you’re following dreadful network marketers or your mom who has a need to share every mundane detail with you, spam will be virtually non-existent.
However, if you want to opt-out of receiving emails completely, an option can be found on the Gmail Settings page.
Next to “Email via Google+” you should see “Who can email you via your Google+ profile?,” followed by a drop-down box.
Selecting “No one” from the box turns off the functionality, and don’t forget to click “Save Changes” at the bottom of the page.
Photo credit: freezelight via photopin cc