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Parental Controls Guide 2011

Locking Down Google+

If your child is using the newer Google+ social network, login with your child’s email and password.  Then click their name or profile photo on the top bar and select Privacy.

Start by clicking the Edit visibility on profile link in the Public profile information section. Remember, the top content (name, description, and profile photos) are viewable by the public. On the About tab, click each piece of information to edit who it’s shared with. You probably want to change each to Your Circles, so only the friends they accept see the info.  When you’re finished with profile settings, click Done Editing on the top.

Now again click their name or profile photo on the top bar and select Privacy.  This time click Edit network visibility in the Network Visibility section. You probably want to at least select Your circles for the Who can see this? option.

A neat feature of Google+ allows you to see how other users see your profile, including the public or anyone on the web. To use this feature click their name or profile photo on the top bar, select Profile, and click the text box that says View profile as…, just under where photos appear.

Once you’ve reviewed the Privacy settings, take a look at the friends they’ve added to a Circle: click their name or profile photo on the top bar and select Circles.

Since anyone can send a post to anyone on Google+ (regardless if they’ve accepted them), you should check out incoming posts from people that your child hasn’t accepted and added to a circle: go to the main Google+ page and under the Stream menu click Incoming. There you can also click Following to see other Google+ users your child is following but hasn’t added to a circle.

Keep in mind, when your child goes to post an update, photo, or other content using Google+, they select who they want to share it with. This may be helpful for them and not so much for you when you’re trying to monitor their activity from your own Google+ account.

Remember, the Hangout feature of Google+ makes it easy to video chat with other Google+ users.  Keep that in mind when consider whether to allow your child to use Google+.