If you’ve accessed Google+, one of the first things you should do is adjust your Google Account settings. Your settings will now be very different and you will be able to adjust your notifications, password recovery methods, etc. There are many settings that you may not have known about before.
Step 1: Go to your Google+ account settings
Step 2: improve your security settings
Let’s go through each section. You can click the Edit Profile link to modify your Google+ profile. Note that after July 31, 2011, all Google+ profiles will be public and a name will be the only information required. If you do not complete it, it will be deleted.
In the Security section, you can change your password, as well as the recovery options.
If you click on Change Password, you will be taken to a new page, where you will be asked to confirm your current password or provide the answer to a security question. Here you can enter and confirm a new password, and Google will also evaluate the Password reliability.
You can activate multiple connection. If you have more than one Google Account (and let’s face it, a lot of us do), you can sign in and switch between the two accounts in the same browser. There are a few things to keep in mind. If you enable it, not all of your Google products will work with multi-login and you will have to switch between the accounts you want to use via the drop-down menu at the top right.
Then you can review and edit the apps and sites connected to your Google Account. Clicking Revoke Access removes the site’s permission to access the specified Google product, such as your Google Contacts or Google Books.
App-specific passwords are only enabled if you have decided to sign up for 2-step verification (see below). You can create passwords for apps in Google products, but note that this may not work on some mobile or desktop apps.
Set up two-step verification to further secure your Google Account. If you’re the type of person who uses “password” as your real password, it introduces another layer of security. It generates a code that is sent to your phone, which you use to authenticate your Google account about once a month.
In the Email addresses and usernames section, you can edit your personal information and add other alternative email addresses, in case you want to use others to recover your password or use them for sign in to your primary Google account.
In the Services section, you can delete your Google+ account or your Google account entirely. If you click Remove Profile and remove the associated social features, you’ll be taken to a new page, where you’ll be asked if you want to remove all of your Google+ content or remove your entire Google profile. If you delete your Google profile, other services that may depend on this data may also potentially be deleted.
If you want to close your entire Google Account, you will need to confirm for each individual product in which you want data deleted, and also confirm that you are responsible for all pending financial transactions. And if you are going to take this drastic step, I recommend you save your data before you leave.
Step 3: Control your profile and privacy settings
If privacy is important to you, then pay attention to this section. Here you can control how others see you.
In the Google Profiles section, you can control the visibility of most of your information on your profile. You can change the visibility of your profile or check how others see your profile by entering a username.
The Sharing section is directly linked to Google+ settings and explains who can see you, who can see your posts, share posts, and control which people appear in your profile. Circle names are private and cannot be revealed.
You can change your Google+ settings for Photos to specify who can tag you, add a location to your photos, and more. You can also add points of interest to Sparks, which are only visible to you. When you start a bubble, you are prompted to check your microphone and speakers, as well as to check your appearance.
In the Google privacy section, you can sign in to your dashboard, which allows you to manage the settings for all products in your Google account. Google privacy center is also linked, which brings you to a page that explains how Google’s privacy policies work for all of its products and services.
Step 4: Configure notification settings for Google+
If you have decided to activate Google+ for your mobile phone, this is the first thing you need to change after installing it. Otherwise, you’ll get a notification for every little thing that happens in Google+. Decide what you want to receive notifications and how you want to receive them, whether by email, your phone, or both.
In the Google +1 section, you can enable +1 personalization on sites other than Google. Just click on the Edit link and you will be given the option to enable or disable +1 personalization. If you enable personalization, you may receive more targeted advertising based on what you assign +1, but this information is not shared with the sites you visit.
You can decide who can start a meeting with you. Since the click feature is only available on your phone, I recommend changing it from “everyone” to “circles” or “extended circles”. By default it is set to “anyone” which means any random stranger can try to start a conversation with you on your phone. Not really practical.
In the Photos section, you can choose whether or not to automatically display geotagging information on your photos and photo albums. You can also indicate which people can identify you and link to your profile, and you can do this by individual or by circle.
Step 5: Configure the default language (s)
The default language is English, but if you want to view Google products in your native language, just click Add another language.
Step 6: Upload your data
The data release section allows you to download most of the stuff you uploaded to Google+ in handy zip files. Or you can be more direct and just download them all of a sudden.
Step 7: Connect other social accounts to your Google account
Are you on Facebook, Flickr, LinkedIn, or other social media accounts? It may be convenient for you to link them to your Google account. This will further personalize your searches and you can choose to display them on your public Google profile.
It’s a good idea to check your Google Account settings every now and then. Google often fine-tunes the account settings, so there may be new options to keep your account as secure and private as you want.
photo by Boomerang
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