- Google is shutting down its Google+ social network.
- A software glitch exposed the private information of hundreds of thousands of Google+ users between 2015 and this March, when the company became aware of the breach, according to a recent report in The Wall Street Journal.
- Google chose not to disclose this information for fear of regulatory pressure and bad public relations, The Journal reported.
- Many people probably aren’t aware if they even have a Google+ account. Here’s how to check.
After The Wall Street Journal reported on Monday that Google accidentally exposed the private information of hundreds of thousands of Google+ users over three years, you might not feel so comfortable having a Google+ account anymore, even though Google plans to shut down the social network.
In March, Google became aware of a security breach that had exposed user data since 2015, The Journal reported. After fixing the bug, Google ultimately decided against disclosing this information for fear of regulatory pressure, according to the report. The company has said it hasn’t found evidence that the exposed data was misused or inappropriately accessed by any third party.
Created in 2011, Google+ never seemed to gain much traction in the social-media sphere, and Google eventually turned it into the underlying account infrastructure connecting its various Google software products, so you might not even realise you’re a member. But it’s likely that you are – if you have a Google account, you’ve probably been given a Google+ account by default.
If you want to jump ship before Google formally shuts down the social network, there’s an easy way to check whether you’re signed up – and delete your account.
First, make sure you’re signed into Google, then go to Gmail.com or the Google homepage. Next, click on your profile picture in the top-right corner.
Next, check to see whether there’s a link that says “Google+ Profile” beneath your name and email address in that window. If the link shows up, you have a Google+ account. Click it to go to your profile.
Once you’re at your Google+ profile, click “settings” on the left side of the page.
Scroll to the bottom of the page and click “Delete your Google+ Profile.” On the next screen, you’ll be prompted to confirm that you want to delete your account.
Once you confirm, you’ll be greeted with this survey page. That means you’re all set and your account has been deleted.
NOW WATCH: Tech Insider videos
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.