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Google just made it so strangers can email your Gmail account – here’s how to stop them

Updated Dec 19th, 2018 8:44PM EST
How To Stop Gmail Google+ Email

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Google on Thursday unveiled a new Gmail feature – emailing Google+ users whose email address you actually don’t know. Moving forward, Gmail will suggest Google+ connections as recipients when a user composes a new email, without revealing the recipient’s email addresses to the sender until the recipient either replies to the email or follows the sender. While some Gmail users may welcome the feature, others may see it as a privacy threat… and of course Google has enabled it by default. Thankfully, there’s a way to prevent random Google+ strangers, companies or services that may abuse this feature from emailing you using solely your social network profile.

In order to turn off the feature, you’ll have to follow a few simple instructions posted by Google on its help pages. Once inside Gmail, you’ll have to go to the gear symbol in the top right corner, select Settings, then Email via Google+, then No one, then Save. The new Gmail feature is, sadly, turned on by default, allowing Anyone on Google+ to email you.

Google is obviously trying to tie its Google+ social network to its other more popular web services, although whatever is left of a user’s privacy inside Google’s universe should still be protected in the process. A Google+ invitation has recently landed a man in jail after his girlfriend, who had a restraining order against him, reported him to the police. His lawyers claim that the he “has no idea how the woman… got such an invitation,” suggesting it may have been sent automatically, Fast Company reports.

Back in November, Google angered some YouTube users after making Google+ accounts mandatory for YouTube’s commenting system.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.