How To Protect Your Privacy On Google +1

It’s a bit ironic that Google released it’s new social feature, Google +1, on the same day it settled its privacy case over Buzz.

But Google has learned it’s lesson, and privacy is easier to manage this time.

Google +1 allows you to share links you find in Google (and soon on other websites). When one of your Google contacts conducts a similar search, he or she will see that you “+1’d” the link. Google will soon let your Twitter and Flickr contacts view your +1’s too.

Google makes it clear that your +1’s can be visible to anyone, not just your contacts. There’s no way around that (for now), so if you want to keep your personal information private, keep as much information out of your profile as possible.

google profile main page

Photo: Screenshot

This could be as simple as limiting it to just your first name. You aren’t required to add a photo, location, or any other personal information. In fact, you can just use your first name and last initial if you want.

The next step is to block Google from using your +1 information to display personalised ads. Go to Google.com and click the “gears” button in the top right corner and select  “Account Settings.”

google +1 account settings

Photo: Screenshot

Next, click “Edit” next to “+1 on non-Google sites.

google +1 account settings

Photo: Screenshot

Finally, make sure the circle next to “Disable” is filled in and click “Save.” Now Google is blocked from using your +1 information in ads.

disable google +1 ads

Photo: Screenshot

Want to try Google +1 now? Click here to learn how to activate it.

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