See Who’s Been Snooping your Google+ Profile

Aug 09, 2011


So you want to see who has been viewing your profile on Google ?

You can’t.

When you click on links like the one you just followed from Google , you open yourself up to phishing scams, or getting your account hijacked. If I was a clever type, I’d have the link come to a page that looked like Google and tell you to log in again, at which point I’d have your log-in information for all the linked Google services. And chances are you use the same passwords for other sites too, or use gmail as your password reminder account.

Google is gaining popularity faster than any other social platform to date. Within days, an application that could port over your Facebook stream to Google appeared and after thousands had signed up, someone traced through the code and found out that the service was collecting way too much information about you and your social network. More applications and “services” are going to show up. They will reshare themselves to your stream if you click on them.

Sorry to have brought you to this page when you were expecting a really cool application instead. Hopefully, this prevents a few people from spreading the inevitable as thieves and spammers find their way to Google .

A few things you can do to protect your accounts in case you accidentally fall for one of these things:

1. Don’t click suspicious links in your stream (besides, who cares who looked at your profile? Do you walk down the street and research every person that casts a passing glance?)

2. Use unique passwords for every site you use. I suggest installing Lastpass and using the password generator it provides.

3. Protect your Google password like your bank password. Because so many services are linked with Google (gmail, Plus, Calendar, Docs, etc), having your Google password compromised can quickly and easily change your life for the worse.

4. Change your passwords often. Okay, even occasionally. Just make it a habit to spend an hour or two on a Saturday every month or two to go through an update your passwords.

5. Don’t use crappy passwords. Ensure all of your passwords use a mix of capital and lowercase letters, numbers and symbols (when allowed). Or use Lastpass and remember one really strong password while letting the service remember the rest.

6. Don’t share your passwords, especially with strangers or internet friends.

Hope this helps.

If you are reading this post and you didn’t come from a link on Google , here’s what you missed: I shared a link on Google with the phrase “Cool! This app lets you see who has been viewing your Google profile”. Very similar to the bait links that self perpetuate on Facebook and I expect will start showing up on Google soon enough. A bit of a social PSA if you will. I’ll probably try some variants on the link text to see what happens and share some results in a forthcoming post.

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