Google has come forward to admit a bug exposed personal information of up to 500,000 users of their Google+ social network. As a result, in 10 months they’ll shut down the platform that never really took off in the first place.
Although the problem was first discovered in March, today was the first public mention of the problem, according to sources who spoke with the Wall Street Journal.
The flaw likely allowed 438 external apps access to users names, email addresses, occupations, gender and age without authorization.
There’s no evidence that the personal information was misused, according to Google.
It is very likely you still have a Google+ account but just don’t know it. When you created a Gmail account Google created the account for you, unless you checked over the sign-up process very carefully and opted out.
Even if you do not use the account it could still be a risk with the recent announcement of the security breach. Here’s how to delete your account ahead of the company’s announcement that they will shut the entire platform down in 10 months.
When signed into your Google account, go to Gmail. Select your icon in the top right. If it has “Google+ profile” up there, you still have an account even if it is dormant.
Click on ‘Google+ profile’ to visit the page. When you arrive click on Settings within the left rail. All the way at the bottom of the settings page is ‘Account – Delete Your Google+ Profile’.
Deleting the profile will impact some content on Google+. Google+ Pages, and Youtube (if you have a linked account). Read it carefully to decide if you want to move forward. You cannot get your profile back once you click delete.
After all these steps, Google will ask for more information on why you are leaving. This is optional. Close the tab if you do not wish to answer.