Google Plus shut down: During the launch of Google Plus back on June 28, 2011, the then senior vice president of the internet giant, Vic Gundora noted in his blog post, “Online sharing has become awkward. Even broken. Hence, we have brought Google plus to fix it”. As soon as soon the much awaited social media network of Google went live, internet users went into a fray, and in a matter of 30 days Google Plus had close to 10 million signups.
At that time, nobody inside Google would have imagined that their brain-child – the Google Plus would face embarrassment for a major security breach that would result in leaking of personal information of millions of users. It’s not been so long that it celebrated 20th anniversary with a Google birthday update, but this incident is a bolt from the blue for the search engine giant, and it’s now being ridiculed by users all over the internet. This has brought Google to a point where it has decided to pull the plug off and killed one of the most anticipated projects of Google.
User’s personal data leak: How did it Happen?
A number of app developers got their hand into the private information of the users on Google Plus due to a software glitch caused inside the social media network. According to an official Google brief, the developers received access to the user’s profile data from 2015 to 2018. However, Google’s legal policy staff warned about the disclosure of this incident as it would lead to negative impressions on Google, just as what happened with Facebook’s user data leaks to Cambridge Analytica.
That being said, you may be wondering about how could a technical glitch cause a huge user information leak. Well, go right ahead and see the below screenshot:
Google Plus Shut Down: Why should you care about it?
Google has done outstanding work for reaching out to the masses through its unassailable search engine, and this popularity and trust was enough for most of its existing users to share their personal information when the search engine giant kick-started their Google Plus project. Also, remember Google owns the mammoth traffic receiving entities like YouTube (Video sharing platform), Android (mobile operating system), Google Chrome (web browser), and Gmail (email sharing platform).
The taken-for-granted-attitude that people had for Google also had its nemesis and it has eventually struck with the security breach of Google Plus.
When there is a breach as significant as the one that has happened with Google Plus, the developers get access to a whole lot of the user’s digital footprints and above all their personal information. As most people use Gmail as their primary email platform, the breach has severe consequences. Getting access to these data means the developers can use your email and even change your password as the reset link is sent through emails. So, the current breach has some earth-shattering impact on Google users.
What should you do next?
On 9th October 2018, Google officially announced that it would be shutting down Google Plus for all the individual users. However, Google has mentioned in its blog post that it will take ten more months to implement it. It means the user data which is exposed can still be exploited by the ones who have got the access till Google shuts down Google Plus.
Hence, it is advised by the security experts that it’s better to close all your Google Plus accounts to safeguard your profile data.
Procedure to Close/Delete your Google Plus Account
- Click on the user profile picture on the right upper corner in Google Chrome browser or Gmail inbox
- Then click on the option ‘Google+ profile’
- Then you should go click on ‘Settings’
- Now you can deactivate your account by hitting right hot under the collar on ‘Delete your Google+ profile’
People’s Reaction to Google Plus Shut Down
The news of Google Plus shut down surprised many on October 9, 2018. Micro blogging site, Twitter, was flooded with a plethora of witty jokes and one-liners about the Google’s failed social networking site. So, below are some of the interesting tweets on trending hashtag Google Plus:
Just told my dad about Google+ demise.
He asked “what’s Google plus?”
— Kamaldeep Singh 💯 (@kamalds) October 9, 2018
Google+ is shutting down! Shit! I was only using it the other d…it was 2013…but still…#GooglePlus
— Andy Coates RPT (@AndyWoodturner) October 8, 2018
— Erik Reichenbach (@ErikReichenb4ch) October 8, 2018
I’m gonna miss this place and all my 3.65 million followers!
— Justin Rios |14🍀| 🎄🎂🎄 (@o14hJRs) October 9, 2018
— Jonathan Pollinger – Social media trainer (@intranetfuture) October 8, 2018
All remaining Google+ users today: pic.twitter.com/rGti8omido
— ᴺᴼᵀ Jony Ive (@JonyIveParody) October 8, 2018
It is highly advisable to close your Google Plus personal accounts as soon as possible to keep your data safe from the results of the breach. We can only hope that something like this never repeats ever again and Google will do the needful to close the loophole. The current violation of Google Plus is a reminder for other social networking sites and its users. Do drop in your comments for furthermore clarifications.