I am sure that you have seen a number of reports on the shutting down of Google+ social network following its cover up of a breach in March this year, resulting in the exposure of the personal data of up to 500,000 internet users. They say that no sensitive data such as bank details or other private information was at risk, but any exposure of private information such as name, address, date of birth, past employment history, photographs or current activities, lends itself to identity theft and fraud.
However, this process according to the tech reports is going to take ten months, and from my perspective the rot has already set in.
In the last couple of months I have noticed an increase in spam on any posts that have been connected from my blog automatically and I have blocked and reported those spammers immediately. However, since the announcement last week, things have deteriorated further. This morning I went in to respond to comments to find that on the posts that were connected in the last few days there were a lot of comments, at least 25% of which were either sexual or derogatory in nature.
Being that is going to take ten months to fully close the site there is clearly going to be an increase in this activity, especially if your account is marked public.
It is disappointing as most of us have several hundred followers or thousands on Google +, but if you take a look at those followers, you will probably find that you are also connected on either Facebook or Twitter, or other sites you use. It was the case with my following there so I have taken decision to stop using the account completely.
One of the problems is that Google has a hand in most things you do online… such as Gmail, Youtube and other services we routinely use everyday. I don’t want to compromise those so here is what you might like to think about doing to protect your privacy and to minimise the spam activity.
You can limit the use of your account by going to settings where you will find a number of options regarding sharing you data on Google +.
- Go into your profile and click on the pencil to edit the various blocks of information.
- Delete all non essential data from your profile including birthdate, location, past work history, links to your other sites, an email addresses other than Gmail.
- If you continue to post on Google + you might want to change who can comment or share by marking it as private rather than public.
On your blog
- Disconnect Google + from your publicize settings. – you can find these on the side of your current posts.
- Click on Edit and remove the Google + on any posts you have already scheduled. And click update.
- To remove Google + from automatic sharing in the future you need to go to your Settings – then click on sharing. You will see a note at the top Publicize and click on the visit WordPress.com sharing page.
- And click the button to the right of Google + and it will come up with a blue connect button.
- Going forward your post will no longer be automatically posted to Google +
To disconnect the sharing button from the bottom of your post go to the same settings, sharing.
- Click on the Google + button in the enabled services and drag and drop up into the available services. This will no longer allow readers to share your post to Google +.
I appreciate that this sounds drastic, especially if you have become dependent on using Google + to promote your work. However, things are not going to improve over the next ten months as they go through the closure of the site and you might like to take action sooner rather than later.
I now focus on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn to share my posts, and if you are not already a member of LinkedIn then you might consider it. I first joined when I was working many years ago, and in those days, it was a job site basically, where you could showcase your skills and experience.
These days you will find that those authors who consider their writing as a business (as we all should) are populating the site and they are keen to connect.
There are some excellent tutorials on how to tailor your profile and here is a link to one that is quite comprehensive.
If you are already on LinkedIn then would be very happy to connect: https://www.linkedin.com/in/sallycronin1/
I hope you have found useful and I am sure if we were connected on Google + we are also connected elsewhere.. so we won’t lose touch. Thanks Sally.