UK & World News

  • 10 January 2014, 13:47

Gmail Change Allows Strangers To Reach Inbox

Users of Google's social network will be able to email people without knowing their address, sparking fears of online abuse by trolls and spammers.

New settings are expected to kick in automatically in the coming days, affecting hundreds of millions of people who have both Gmail and Google+ accounts.

The new feature will allow people to send emails to any Gmail user's private inbox.

Senders will only have to follow their intended recipient on Google+, which they can do without permission.

The recipient's email address will only show up if they reply and people will be able to opt out of the feature.

At the moment, social networks like Twitter and Facebook only allow users to send direct messages to each other if they have agreed to be "friends" or "followers".

In a blog post, Google product manager David Nachum said: "Now it's easier for people using Gmail and Google+ to connect over email."

"This feature is rolling out over the next couple of days to everyone," he added.

However, users have reacted angrily to the changes, with some concerned it will open the floodgates to a slew of unwanted junk messages.

One tweeted: "It may be time to kill my Gmail account completely."

Another wrote: "It really is high time to delete my Google+ account."

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