any Google Plus user to email youGoogle released a new setting to all Gmail accounts that allows any Google Plus user to email you directly. This means that anyone on the social network has the ability to send emails to your Gmail account, even if they aren’t in your Google Plus circle.

What does this new setting do to my privacy?

This new Gmail setting exposes you to anyone with a Google Plus account, which is basically anyone considering the social network had 300 million monthly active users as of October, according to USA Today. Since Google is exposing your email inbox to any of its Google Plus users, it means that the company may be putting your privacy in jeopardy because it’s allowing strangers to send you any sort of messages, including phishing links and other spam or malware.

Is there a way to opt out of these emails?

Any Google Plus User To Email You

Luckily, there is a way to prevent strangers from sending you emails, which can save your inbox and identity from spam messages. To change this setting, just click on the gear icon on the top right of your Gmail homepage and click on the “Settings” option from the drop-down menu.

This will take you to the General Settings page, where you will see a variety of settings ranging from the font of your emails to auto-response alerts that you can use when you are away from your email for an extended amount of time. Scroll about half way down the page, and you’ll see a setting titled “Email via Google+” and the description “Who can email you via your Google+ profile.” This setting will automatically be set to “Anyone on Google+.” To change it, click on the automatic setting which opens the drop-down menu, then decide which setting will best fit your privacy preferences.

We recommend that you select “No one” because it means that you will not receive any emails from anyone on Google Plus, regardless of if they’re in your circle or not. We think this is the best setting because, frankly, if a Google Plus user wants to email you for business or personal purposes, then they should already have your email address or know other ways to get in contact with you, such as adding you and posting on your Google Plus page or creating a private Google Hangout through Google Plus.

any Google Plus user to email you

If you do decide to allow Google Plus users to email you, it’s important to remember that all of the information in their emails may not be genuine or safe. For example, one of the emails you receive might include a link to some random website. It’s essential that you do not click on the link if you don’t recognize or personally know the user because the link could include some sort of keylogging virus that will track all the activity on your keyboard, or any other malware designed to gather your personal information.

Visit our identity theft protection blog to learn more tips and extra steps you can take to protect your identity in every aspect of your life.