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Posted: 3:06 p.m. Friday, Jan. 10, 2014

Google mail users can adjust settings to bar surprise emails

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By Clark Howard

Google has a new feature where people can send you an email even if they don't know your email address. But there is a way to opt out.

The new feature marries Gmail and Google+. So if you're in someone's Google+ Circles, they can contact you -- regardless of whether you've ever exchanged email addresses or not.

It's something that I liken to this: Let's say somebody goes to the post office and mails you a letter that just has your name. They don't include a street address, your town, your state, or your zip code. But the amazing thing is, the letter gets to you.

That's basically what Google is doing now.

There are a variety of reasons why people might *not* just want someone emailing them out of the blue. Fortunately, it's not that hard to change your Google Mail settings to opt out. Just follow these instructions.

Meanwhile, I told you before the holidays that Google also wants to use your image and name in ads without compensating you. But again, there's a way to opt out of this too.

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