Google+ changes

As more people come online to Google+, it’s worth mentioning a few things to be aware of.

Find my face

This is an opt-in feature that you enable via Settings. It gives you the options to

prompt people you know to tag your face when it appears in photos. Of course, you have control over which tags you accept or reject, and you can turn the feature on or off in Google+ settings.

Instant upload

This is also an opt-in feature enabled via Settings. This gives you the option to automatically upload photos and videos to Google+ taken via your iPhone, iPod touch or iPad2. They begin as private, but you can change this if you want to share.

Instant Upload is only active while the Google+ iOS app is open, and for a brief period after you close it. Re-opening the Google+ app resumes your photo & video uploads exactly where they left off.

Let’s hope that Google+ keep these opt-in only and not move the goalposts a la Facebook.

Google web safety tutorials

Kind of ironic, given yesterday’s iQ post about Google’s change in privacy policy, but Google have launched web safety tutorials that some parents, students and educators may find useful.

The ThinkB4U site contains videos and tutorials that guide users through a number of scenarios, ThinkB4U:

  • chat
  • share
  • act
  • multi task
  • respond
  • buy
  • search
  • send
  • step (developing and protecting a positive digital footprint)
  • text
Very useful tips for parents include:
  • it’s a lot more about humanity than technology
  • it does help to learn and use the social media tools your children love
  • just because it’s public doesn’t mean it’s worse
  • technology may have changed but values haven’t
  • critical thinking has never been more important or protective
ThinkB4U is really worth looking into.

Google changes privacy policy

If you have any Google accounts, you should have received this email by now:

Dear Google user,We’re getting rid of over 60 different privacy policies across Google and replacing them with one that’s a lot shorter and easier to read. Our new policy covers multiple products and features, reflecting our desire to create one beautifully simple and intuitive experience across Google.We believe this stuff matters, so please take a few minutes to read our updated Privacy Policy and Terms of Service at These changes will take effect on March 1, 2012.
One policy, one Google experience

Easy to work across Google Tailored for you Easy to share and collaborate
Easy to work across Google

Our new policy reflects a single product experience that does what you need, when you want it to. Whether reading an email that reminds you to schedule a family get-together or finding a favorite video that you want to share, we want to ensure you can move across Gmail, Calendar, Search, YouTube, or whatever your life calls for with ease.

Tailored for you

If you’re signed into Google, we can do things like suggest search queries – or tailor your search results – based on the interests you’ve expressed in Google+, Gmail, and YouTube. We’ll better understand which version of Pink or Jaguar you’re searching for and get you those results faster.

Easy to share and collaborate

When you post or create a document online, you often want others to see and contribute. By remembering the contact information of the people you want to share with, we make it easy for you to share in any Google product or service with minimal clicks and errors.

Protecting your privacy hasn’t changedOur goal is to provide you with as much transparency and choice as possible, through products like Google Dashboard and Ads Preferences Manager, alongside other tools. Our privacy principles remain unchanged. And we’ll never sell your personal information or share it without your permission (other than rare circumstances like valid legal requests). Understand how Google uses your dataIf you want to learn more about your data on Google and across the web, including tips and advice for staying safe online, check out Got questions?
We got answers.
Visit our FAQ at read more about the changes. (We figured our users might have a question or twenty-two.)

Notice of Change

March 1, 2012 is when the new Privacy Policy and Terms will come into effect. If you choose to keep using Google once the change occurs, you will be doing so under the new Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

This is a huge change that needs to be considered by all Google users carefully. Read the article about selling your soul to Google. Teacher Richard Byrne has some pointers on how to sidestep some of the problems this change has created.

It’s worth discussing this change further with family members who have Google accounts (including YouTube, gmail, Google Reader and Google Docs.)

How to protect your computer from malware

Google has developed this new 2 minute video explaining how to protect your computer from malware. Wikipedia defines malware as

Malware, short for malicious software, consists of programming (code, scripts, active content, and other software) designed to disrupt or deny operation, gather information that leads to loss of privacy or exploitation, gain unauthorized access to system resources, and other abusive behavior.[1] The expression is a general term used by computer professionals to mean a variety of forms of hostile, intrusive, or annoying software or program code.

Google+ privacy settings

Although it is just a new addition to the social media stable, Google+ throws up some privacy issues. Network World, which “is the premier provider of information, intelligence and insight for Network and IT Executives” has shared some information about how to keep your information and photos safe and secure. See the post here.

Remove a page or site from Google’s search results

Google has published information about how to request that pages, sites or images are removed from Google searches.

If you are concerned about any Google search results, the above links will assist you to remove any offending items.

A complete guide to online privacy

Now that so many children and young adults (and adults) are using social media sites such as Facebook, Google+, blogs, YouTube, Twitter and more, the implications in terms of privacy are becoming more important. As everyone is now a publisher, this Edublogs guide to online privacy explains why and how users can use privacy settings to increase security. Also have a look at these useful documents on: