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How to turn off the new Gmail option that allows Google+ strangers to send you emails

Yesterday, Google unveiled a controversial new feature for Gmail and Google+ users -- anyone with a Google+ account can send an email to your Gmail account, even if they don't have your email address. No more hiding behind your email -- if your name is attached to a Gmail and Google+ account, then you can be contacted.

Though you can change the settings and limit your contact options, the "Anyone can email me" option is turned on by default. Want to turn it off? Here's how:

  1. Open Gmail by going to mail.google.com.
  2. Click the gear in the top right corner of the Gmail window.
  3. Select Settings from the drop-down menu.
  4. Scroll down to the Email via Google+ section, which is under the "General" tab.
  5. Click the drop-down menu and choose "Anyone on Google+", "Extended circles", "Circles" or "No one".
  6. Click the"Save Changes" button at the bottom of the page.

I recommend selecting "No one" as that blocks the feature completely. You can select "Circles" if you want the people in your circles to be able to email you or "Extended Circles" if you want friends of friends to message you. The default option "Anyone on Google+" is for those who don't mind being contacted by any random person.

If you are tired of Google and its shenanigans, just walk away by deleting your Google account and signing up for an iCloud account.

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