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Buzz Off, Gmail!

By now all users of Gmail should know about Buzz. Gmail has added Buzz to most of Gmail accounts. If you don't see it yet, it's coming.

Buzz has been either praised or vilified by a lot of different folks, with a lot of them including me saying 'Buzz off!'.

This new add-on to Gmail is Google's attempt to join the social networking sites. However, they went about it the wrong way. Instead of making it something to turn on, if you don't want it you have to turn it off. (This is like all those spammy emails from those social networking sites that you have to opt out to stop getting them.)

If you never setup a 'Profile' in Gmail, you probably don't have much to worry about. But if you have a profile, guess what. Until you turn Buzz off, all of your contacts in Gmail are now exposed to anyone that has accessed your profile, including anyone with less than honorable intentions.

The techies who know are advocating that you should delete your profile and turn Buzz off, unless you don't really care about letting the world including all the bad guys surfing for email addresses to spam, compromise and otherwise make havoc. This is privacy ignored in the worst possible way. Sooner or later, maybe Gmail will address the privacy issue, but so far they are ignoring all of those who are screaming our heads off about the heavy handed way they treated Gmail users by not letting them have an 'opt in' instead of making folks exposed without their knowledge.

To remove your profile and turn buzz off, open your Gmail account and click on Settings. In the far right list on the menu is Buzz. Click Buzz and you have the following options: Screenshot

Make your choices and click Save Changes. If you elect to disable Buzz, you should see this screen: Screenshot

Next you will see this screen: Screenshot

You can always go back to Settings/Buzz and turn it on again.