Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Google Plus, Part Three—Privacy Settings

Today we’ll continue with our exploration of Google+. If you’ve missed the either of the first two posts, you can click here or here and catch up.

One of the biggest complaints I hear about Social Networks is confusion about privacy settings. Frequently this confusion can leave users exposed without even knowing it. Google+ gives the user the opportunity to customize many settings in a straight forward manner and bypass the confusion.

To begin, go to your Google+ home page (click on the HOME icon).
Now, click on your name. It’s in the upper right of the screen – on the black menu bar. This will activate a drop-down menu. The bottom choice on the menu is PRIVACY. Click on this.

Now you’re in the privacy settings page.

The first tab you want to consider is your visibility to search engines. On the right side of the screen you’ll see a light gray box with EDIT VISIBILITY ON PROFILE written in it. Click on this and it will take you to your profile page.

At the bottom of the page you’ll see, PROFILE DISCOVERY, after that, you’ll see one of two things:
For writers, I recommend you make certain your profile is visible in search.

Privacy and Circles

With the circles in Google+ you have the option of different circles, family, friends, acquaintances, etc. There may be times when it’s appropriate to share things with family or close friends, that you don’t want shared with business associates or acquaintances. You manage that setting every time you post information (a picture, link, post, etc). This may seem like a lot of work, but it’s actually a really good fail safe for your privacy. Each time you post, you can decide who you want to see what you’ve written.
SPECIAL NOTE: There is an automatic default with this setting. When you post something to your stream (your feed) and you designate who can see the post, Google+ will remember this setting and default to it when you post again unless you change it.

It is possible to set your privacy settings to let the friends in your circles be visible only to other friends or to the entire web. To do this, click on the gray box that says, EDIT NETWORK VISIBILITY.
This will take you to your profile page. Once there, the entire screen will gray out and an active box will pop up on the left hand side of your screen.
The first option on the box is IN YOUR CIRCLES.
You’ll see the heading, SHOW PEOPLE IN, and you can check this box and decide which (or all) circles to show.
Below that is WHO CAN SEE THIS.
You have the option to either check,
I recommend you only choose YOUR CIRCLES.

Below that is the option to make yourself invisible in someone else’s profile. Unless you’re a celebrity, I recommend you do NOT make yourself invisible. Showing up in someone else’s profile is a great way to network and make new contacts.

SPECIAL NOTE: Remember, with Google+ only you know the specific names of your circles and who you’ve added to each one.  

There are other settings you can tweak on this page, but these are the major settings you need to be concerned with. Now it’s your turn, what questions do you have?

And don’t forget to join the conversation!


  1. I'm looking forward to sitting down and following your detailed instructions. Hope it's as easy as it seems. Sometimes techies don't realize how we non-techies can complicate things!

  2. You've convinced me to give it a try. I'm sure I'll have questions once I actually dive in!