Get Started with Google+

Google+ is a social media tool that introduces new ways for our community to connect and communicate with each other. It includes the ability to selectively share photos, posts and links with Circles of contacts, and video chat with up to fifteen people at a time in Hangouts.

Important Notes

  • Currently, signing up for a Google+ account requires providing a real name and creating a public profile (which will, at the minimum, contain the full name).  Google has indicated that this policy may eventually change, but has not yet provided a time frame.  Because of FERPA regulations and privacy considerations, the use of Google+ should NEVER be made mandatory (for example, it should not be required in a course).
  • Users must be at least 13 years old to create a Google+ account in the United States. Anyone providing an age less than 13 years will be prevented from creating an account. If you accidentally enter an age under 13, Google will suspend, or possibly delete, your GoogleApps@Brown account. For this reason, it is very important that people 13 and over provide the correct date of birth when registering. This includes mail and other items! More information about Google+ and age requirements
  • Like other non-core Google services for the Brown community, Google + is not covered under the same Brown policy agreement and will only be as secure and private as the normal consumer Google services.
  • All content created in Google with your Brown account, whether in a core app such as Mail or a consumer app such as Google+, can potentially be accessed or suspended by the University. While Brown has strong limits on who can access accounts and why accounts can be accessed, it is a possibility that you should consider when sending or storing personal information. If you would like to use Google products for storing personal content, you should create a free non-Brown account at   Remember that if your affiliation with Brown ends, you will no longer be able to access content created with your Brown account.
  • The access and use of any Google app such as Google+ falls under the Brown Acceptable Use Policy.

Sign Up for Google+

First: Create Your Account

  1. Go to
  2. Make sure to enter an accurate birthday when signing up. If you are over 13 but accidentally indicate you are under 13, you will be prevented from creating an account.
  3. After creating an account, you can access Google+ by logging in at or by clicking the +[Your Name] link at the top left of your Gmail.

Second: Check Your Privacy Settings and Public Profile Remember that when you create a Google+ account, a public profile is created for you. You can change the visibility of everything on your profile except your name, which is public. We like this tutorial on Google+ profile privacy settings.

Google's has a guide to your profile. Some settings to be especially aware of:

To check your chosen privacy settings, we recommend viewing how your profile looks to other people.

Third: Create Your Circles
Sharing in Google+ is based on Circles, or groups of people you define.  Since you are using Google+ with your Brown email account, you will also be able to share with everyone at Brown. Google support article: Find and add people to circles

Learn How to Use Google+

We recommend getting started with Google's guide to Google+.

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