Google updated Gmail allowing strangers to send you messages, here's how to disable it

By on January 10, 2014, 3:00 PM
google, gmail, privacy, messages

Yesterday, Google introduced a feature to Gmail some might not be too happy about. By default, anyone with a Google+ account can now send an email to your Gmail account whether they have your address or not. As long as your name is attached to a Google+ and Gmail account, you can receive messages from strangers like the one seen above.

If that is something that doesn't sound appealing to you, don't worry, you can disable the feature and return your account to the legacy privacy settings. Google provides 4 different options under the Email via Google+ section, "Anyone on Google+", "Extended circles", "Circles" or "No one." The name of the settings more or less speak for themselves, with the "No one" effectively retuning your account back to its usual state and disabling the feature entirely.

To find these options login to your Gmail account, head to your settings page from the gear icon on the top right corner of the screen. Then in the General tab, scroll down to hit the pull down menu in the Email via Google+ section to view the options (don't forget to save your changes).

With the ability to turn it off, the Facebook like messaging really doesn't sound like a big problem for those that don't want strangers to send messages to their personal email accounts. Google says, the person contacting you can't actually see your email address unless you email them back.

User Comments: 8

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MilwaukeeMike said:

Hmm.. I wonder how I would be able to tell if messages were sent to me from this new feature or if they're just the usual spam. I'm going to leave it turned on to see if I get anything.

tipstir tipstir, TS Ambassador, said:

Thanks for this it's disabled again. I wish they would stop messing around with privacy setting also. Face Book does this too. I set to friends only it flips back to everyone.

1 person liked this | JC713 JC713 said:

Earth to Google, no one cares about Google+!

Guest said:

Hoooooooooooooo... thats why.... ive been receiving more spam than usual..

many thanks google!!! (hope you have a horrible death)

sdfsdfsd sdfsdfsd said:

Why did almost every major network just write this same hit piece on google scaring users away from it (bing anyone?) in the exact same way: by LYING about how this feature works and implying 'anyone' can get your personal info and email you anything they want. Why?

Just how did this happen?

Guest17 said:

The Internet as we know it has truly entered a parallel Bizarro universe. Can it be that Hotmail is now cooler than Gmail?

treetops treetops said:

Really gmail thats why I was getting random people asking em to chat

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