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How to customize Google+ privacy

Make sure you're not oversharing on Google's new social network. Sharon Vaknin shows you how to lock in the right privacy settings.

After several Facebook privacy scares, many have flocked to Google+ for better security, selective posting to "Circles," and a fresh start in social networking. But if you're not careful, you might make the same privacy mistakes on Google+.

Buried around Google+ are many privacy options for posts, photos, and your profile. Here's how to customize those settings:

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Although you might be compelled to post publicly for better exposure, beware that all public posts are indexed by Google.

Disable reshare: If you're using Circles to keep certain posts limited to close friends and family, adopt "Disable reshare." After posting, click the arrow to the right of the post, and select the option there.

Change album visibility: Go to your profile > Photos > View all albums. The little icons next to the album names signify each album's visibility: public (a globe), private (a lock), and limited (two heads). To change the visibility for any album, select it, click the link next to "Visible to," and enter Circles or e-mail addresses.

Control photo tagging: By default, anyone can tag you in photos. To change this, go to Google+ settings (upper right), then scroll down and select which circles can tag you.

Go to your profile and hit "Edit profile." From here, you can click on any element in your About section to change its visibility. Other tabs in your profile, like Buzz and +1, also have privacy options you may adjust.

Change "search visibility": In the "Edit profile" mode, scroll down to the bottom of your About section and find "Search visibility." If you don't want your profile to show up in search results, click it and uncheck "Help others find me in search results."

Hide or expose Circles: When people visit your profile, they can see who's in your circles and who has included you in theirs. Hide either or both of these modules by clicking "Change who is visible here" in the left sidebar of your profile.