All about Google Shutting down Google+ – The Issue and the Affects

Tech Giant Google is shutting down its arm Google Plus. Once the most preferred social media network, the shutdown of Google+ is a landmark decision. This will be effective from August 31, 2019. Google+ was one the arm of Google that was started out to be an answer to Mark Zuckerberg’s Facebook. Despite repeated attempts and tweaks, it was unsuccessful in displacing Facebook as the number one social media platform. Google+ was disbanded after it was reported to have exposed the private and personal data of over 500,000 users. This announcement was made the same day when a Wall Street Journal Story proved how private data of more than a million users were being exposed.

What happens if your Data Security is Breached?

  • Any third party can access all your personal information like name, address etc.
  • A user can be compelled to take unforeseen steps by other API to keep his private life secure
  • Leads to theft and increasing attacks
  • Can lead to malicious viruses attacking your system
  • Can be a target to terrorist groups who have your data through third parties

What is the security Breach issue by Google?

Google, as a matter of fact, knew the security issue way back in March 2018 but it chose to not disclose it to its users. After the news story, Google announced its decision to close down. Here are some key takeaways from the official statement-

  • Google said the data was exposed by third-party apps through an API. An API is a means to transfer data across software programs.
  • It said the security bug was limited to few non-public profiles on Google+
  • It claims to keep the data for only two weeks and so it cannot determine which users data was affected
  • It has however not affected any commonly used arms like GSuite- thus sensitive communication was not affected

How will affect users and Businesses?

The fact that over 90% of its sessions and usage lasts for less than 5 seconds shows how Google+ works.

  • It affects users who still use Google+ for communication, one has to move to a new platform sooner or later
  • It will adversely affect users whose data has been compromised
  • It will negatively impact small businesses who prefer Google+ over Facebook or LinkedIn

What should you do to prepare for the shutdown?

  • Make plans and remove the Google+ share and follow buttons from any blog or website. This will control the data breach.
  • Phase out how active you are on Google+ and stop sharing content and private information
  • Check your Google settings to verify where and how your data is being used
  • Migrate to other platforms even if you have groups on Google+
  • Become familiar with Google’s sharing policies

Google+ will, however, remain for enterprise users and will be developed further by Google. Google has a strong privacy policy and a team called Project Strobe that looks into how third-party accounts use user data. It is important to identify where privacy breaches can happen and aim to control it. With Google+ being laid off, it is time Tech Giants understood how important user data is.

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