Google's logo sits illuminated on the company's exhibition stand at the Noah Technology Conference in Berlin. (Krisztian Bocsi/Bloomberg News)

Hundreds of thousands of accounts on Google’s long-suffering social media service, Google+, may have been affected by a security flaw, the company said Monday, exposing personal information such as names and email addresses.

In the wake of the accidental exposure, Google said it is planning to shut down Google+ for consumers. But that will not happen for about 10 months. If you are wondering whether you still have a Google+ account — and if so, how to delete it — you can follow these instructions.

One easy way to find out whether you are even on Google+ is to visit your Gmail inbox and click on your profile picture in the upper right-hand corner of the screen. If it says “Google+ Profile,” it is safe to assume you have a Google+ account tied to your general Google Account.


How to access your Google+ profile.

Click on “Google+ Profile.” It will bring you to your profile on the Google+ platform:


A sample image of a Google Plus profile.

Then, click on “Settings.” You will find that in the left-hand column, above the links for “Send feedback” and “Help.” Next, you will see a bunch of settings you can change.


The settings page for Google Plus.

Scroll all the way to the bottom. There, under the “Account” section, you will find a link that says “Delete your Google+ profile.” Click that.


How to formally delete your Google Plus profile.

Google will give you some information on the implications of what you are about to do. You can click on each category to expand it and get more details.


Google will ask if you are sure you want to delete your Plus profile.

Here, Google confirms that by deleting your Plus profile, you are also deleting your account on Google+. Doing so will not delete your general Google account, nor will it delete any of your photos or contacts. But it will delete all “+1s” — the Google equivalent of a Facebook like — as well as any posts you have created on the platform.

At the bottom of the page, check the box next to “Required” to acknowledge that deleting your profile cannot be undone, then click “Delete.”

If all goes well, you should see a confirmation screen and survey, which you can feel free to answer or ignore as you wish.


Google's confirmation screen after you have deleted your Plus profile.