Following the news that a Google Plus security breach resulted in the exposure of 500,000 people’s private information, the search engine giant has said it will be shutting down its social network for consumers.
The announcement came on Monday, with Google saying in a blog post that they discovered a bug which could have allowed as many as 438 external apps to collect user names, email addresses, professions, gender and age without authorization.
Google came forward about the bug, which was discovered back in March and was active between 2015 and 2018, on October 8, after a Wall Street Journal investigation cited anonymous sources who said that the company didn’t disclose the problem then partly to avoid attracting regulatory scrutiny.
In October 2018, Google revealed its social network Google Plus was breached by a bug
Google said: ‘We found no evidence that any developer was aware of this bug, or abusing the API, and we found no evidence that any Profile data was misused.’
The company went on to say that the bug, and the ‘very low usage of the consumer version of Google+’, has made the company decide to ‘sunset’ the consumer version of the social network.
‘To give people a full opportunity to transition, we will implement this wind-down over a 10-month period, slated for completion by the end of next August.
‘Over the coming months, we will provide consumers with additional information, including ways they can download and migrate their data.’
However, if 10 months is too long a wait, here’s all you need to know about how to check whether you have a Google Plus account and how to delete it now.
How to check if you have a Google Plus account
To check if you have a Google Plus account, first you must be signed into Google. Once signed in, go to either the Google homepage or your Gmail account. At the top right of the page, click on your profile picture.
The pop up should show you all the information about that Google account including your name, email associated with the account, and if you have one, a Google Plus account.
Clicking on the Google Plus account link will take you to your Google Plus page.
How to delete your Google Plus account
Once you’re in your Google Plus account, go to settings and scroll to the very bottom of the tab and select on the ‘Delete your Google+ Profile’ link.
Once you confirm that you want to proceed, your account will be deleted and a survey page will pop up asking for the reason for the deletion.