Infographic: A Guide to Taming Privacy Concerns Around Google+

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For Google's new social network to succeed in the way that the search giant seems to want it to -- that is, to see it crush Facebook, Twitter and competing social networks to become the predominant place for communicating with friends and followers on the Web -- it's going to have to show its expanding userbase that it takes privacy seriously. "Sharing selectively with specific circles means that you can easily let certain people see your posts, while keeping certain posts hidden from other users," Scribbal explains. "However, scammers and cybercriminals will undoubtedly soon be targeting users of Google+, particularly those who have not taken steps to eliminate privacy concerns."

With the site still in field testing mode, new users must be invited by those who have already made its past the digital velvet rope and into Google's new playground. This has kept out most spammers and scammers. But Google has said that it will soon make Google+ available to the general public, perhaps as early as next week, and nobody can be sure what we will see then.

Before the floodgates are opened, check out this new infographic from ZoneAlarm, which walks you through Google+'s privacy settings so you can make sure you're not doing anything wrong and put your mind at ease.

Infographics are always a bit of a hodgepodge of statistics culled from a variety of sources. Here, we sort through the clutter and pull out some of our favorite facts and figures:

  • Setting up circles: Google+ circles allow you to create and share information with groups of friends just like you have in your real life social circles. Once these circles are created it is safe to privately share information with your circle of friends.
  • Lockdown your profile: By default, most of your profile is visible to anyone on the Web. Unless you want to share all your information with the world, then you'll want to change these settings so only your circles can view it.
  • Restricting search visibility: Again, by default, your profile will appear in Google search results. You can change your visibility under your profile settings at any time if you don't want Google or other search engines to index your profile.
  • Streaming to appropriate circles: When creating a new post, you have the option to select the circles with whom you want to share the information. Additionally, by default, Google+ will remember the groups you specified in your most recent post and use those same groups in your next post.

Check out more Infographics on the Technology Channel.

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Nicholas Jackson is a former associate editor at The Atlantic.

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