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21 Google+ Privacy Tips: The Ultimate Guide

The Huffington Post     First Posted: 07/21/11 06:33 PM ET   Updated: 09/20/11 06:12 AM ET

So you're on Google+. You've familiarized yourself with our Google+ guide, the social network's features, and what it has that Facebook doesn't. But what about privacy?

It's something for everyone to think about. Whether you're a newbie or power user, being familiar with Google+'s privacy settings (and the tips below) can help make you feel safer and more comfortable using it.

Google has shown it's serious about privacy with Google+, after previous social networking efforts like Buzz raised privacy concerns. G+ is loaded with privacy settings, centered around a "circles" approach, allowing you to selectively share with whom you please. A privacy flaw raised by The Financial Times was quickly remedied by Google. In addition, TechCrunch reports that Google has acquired a privacy-centric social network.

It seems users are taking advantage of the privacy options too: more than two-thirds of Google+ activity is private.

Some of Google+'s privacy settings are obvious, but others are not so apparent. The tips below are a wide array of both basic and more advanced tips to feel secure on Google+. (Many thanks to those who shared tips on this G+ post.)

For more on Google's views on privacy, for Google+ and beyond, see its Privacy Center.

Choose Who Sees Your Posts
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When you start a post, you can share to your circles, extended circles, individuals or the public. Make sure "public" is NOT selected if you want to share to a limited audience. Simply select here the circle(s) or individual(s) you want to share with.

You can even limit something to *just* yourself if you create a circle with no one in it. This can be used to bookmark posts or save them to read later.

It's also worth keeping in mind that since "Extended Circles" means sharing to those circled by those you circle, if you're following any users who tend to circle everyone, that can mean essentially sharing publicly.
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