Google Plus offers granular privacy controls that are quick and easy to manage (and less confusing than the labyrinthine privacy controls on Facebook). One feature that is worth checking out is the function that lets you control what people can see about your circles.
(By the way, if you want to understand Google Plus more, see this webinar, Google Plus for Business.)
By default, when you look at someone’s Google Plus profile, you can see, under their name and thumbnail a list of the people that the person has added to their circles. In another box you can see people who have added the person to their circles.
You can hide these from your profile altogether, or just from people who are not in your circles. Here’s how you do it – first go to your Google Plus profile and click Edit profile. On top of the “IN YOUR CIRCLES” box you will see a little icon. Mouse over this and you can see the privacy setting.
You can choose to hide the box completely, or you can select to leave it public but filter which circles you want to show. For example, let’s say you have created a circle called “Celebrities” and you want to only show the celebs you are following, just choose the Celebrities circle and only those people will appear in the box that shows the public who you follow. No one can see the names of your circles – that’s private to you.
You can also choose to show the box only to people in your circles. This is like saying “Friends only” on Facebook, but it’s better than that because Google Plus circles do not require two-way acceptance. If you put someone in a circle, you don’t need their permission (just as you wouldn’t ask their permission when you add them to your address book). By adding them to one of your circles, you are basically allowing them to see anything you decide to show to people in that circle.