How to prevent Google+ users from e-mailing you

Other Google+ users can now send you e-mail without even knowing your Gmail address. But you can easily opt out of that.

Screenshot by Lance Whitney/CNET

Don't want strangers on Google+ to start inundating your Gmail inbox? No problem. You can control or completely turn off this option.

On Thursday, the search giant announced a new feature that would let anyone on Google+ e-mail fellow users without having to find out their actual Gmail address. Respond to such an e-mail, and your address is then revealed to the other person.

Anticipating that many people might not want to receive e-mail from total strangers, Google lets you fine-tune this setting. Here's how:

Google+

  1. Open your Gmail account. Click on the gear icon in the top right and select Settings from the menu.
  2. In the General tab on the Settings page, look for the section that says: Email via Google+.
  3. Click on the dropdown menu next to "Who can email you via your Google+ profile?" You can pick one of four choices: Anyone on Google+, Extended Circles, Circles, or No One. Make your selection and then click Save Changes at the bottom of the page.

Google has also posted a Help page to explain how to tweak this setting. The new feature will roll out to all Gmail and Google+ users over the next couple of days, according to Google. When that happens, you'll receive an e-mail with more information and a link to the setting. But with the steps above, you can control the new feature before it even reaches you.

About the author

Journalist, software trainer, and Web developer Lance Whitney writes columns and reviews for CNET, Computer Shopper, Microsoft TechNet, and other technology sites. His first book, "Windows 8 Five Minutes at a Time," was published by Wiley & Sons in November 2012.

 

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