Last week, Google announced that Gmail users can email their Google+ connections without knowing their email address first. For some, it’s an easy way to stay in touch. For others, it’s a ticket to unwanted email. However you feel, here’s how to turn the feature off, or set it so only the people you want can use it.

Now that the new feature has rolled out to Gmail users (although it hasn’t gotten to Google Apps users, as far as we can see), controlling who can email you is pretty simple:

  • Click here to open the General tab in your Gmail Settings.
  • Scroll down to Email via Google+.
  • Click the drop-down and select your preferred option. “Circles” (which was the default for me) only allows people in your circles—not those who have circled you—to contact you. “Extended circles” allows friends of your friends to email you. “Anyone on Google+” is as the name implies, and we’d suggest avoiding it. To turn the feature off completely, select “No one.”
  • Scroll down and click “Save Changes.”

That’s it.