Social Networks

Published on January 8th, 2014 | by Joanna Connell

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Orkut

A social networking website that is owned by Google.  The website allows members to connect with their friends and make new ones.  Orkut has over 33 million active users worldwide who can publish a variety of content on their profiles, including images and videos which they can share with their friends.

Creating an account

To use Google’s Orkut social networking service, you have to register for a Google account that lets you use all of Google’s services, including Orkut.

When signing up for your Google account you have to input a password that’s at least 8 characters long.  You can also add in letters, numbers or mixed cases to make your password stronger.  Google provides a password strength indicator, but it simply assesses your password on the basis of its length.  Anything less than 8 characters classifies as ‘weak’ whereas if it’s 8 characters or more it’s ‘strong’.

Security features on Orkut

You can configure options related to secure access of your account from Google’s central account settings page.  To access this, click on your username at the top-right of the screen and select Account Settings from the drop-down list.  Click on the link in the ‘Google Account settings’ to view the options related to your password and two-factor authentication.

You can set up two-factor authentication for your Orkut account by enabling it from the list of options on the Security page.  To get the security code to access your account, you can either have Google send you the code on your mobile phone each time you try to log in, or you can generate the code using an app like Google Authenticator for Android, Apple and Blackberry devices that can be downloaded from Google Play or App Store.  If you have a Windows phone, you’ll need to download a compatible third-party app like Authenticator to sign in.

Managing your security settings

You can access security options for Orkut by clicking on your username and then clicking on Account settings.  Click on the link in the ‘Google Account settings’ area to access all the security settings for your Google account.  Here you’ll have access to a variety of security and privacy controls that let you manage the safety our data online.

Click on the Security option on the left-hand menu to access the most important security options you need to protect your account including: changing your password, account recovery options, notification of unusual activity, two-step authentication and the possibility to review all the websites and apps that are linked to your Google account.

You can also manage the privacy settings of your posts directly from your Orkut interface.  You can choose whether to make the content you publish publicly visible or restrict it to the people you choose.

Personal data usage

According to Google’s privacy policy, personal information from your account can be disclosed to third parties, such as when integrating external apps or services to your Google account to use on Orkut.  It is up to you to decide whether a site or an app should be trusted with your personal information since Google doesn’t review or endorse other websites.

Closing your account

Orkut is a part of your Google account and it cannot be completely removed.  You can choose not to use it at all, delete any data you’ve stored on it and deactivate the service.

If you wish to delete your account entirely, you’ll have to close down your Google account and with it all the associated data in the services that Google provides.  To do this, click on your username at the top-right of page and click on ‘Account settings’.  Click on the link in the ‘Google Account settings’ area and press on the Account link from the left-hand menu.

Scroll down to the bottom of the page and under the heading ‘Account Management’ you can find a link to close your Google account and delete all the services and information associated with it.  To proceed with the deletion request, enter your password and press the red ‘Delete Google Account’ button.

Security record

Orkut is only a part of Google’s wide range of online services and it has never been specifically targeted by hackers trying to access users’ account.  However, Google has been heavily under fire by hackers and gaining access to a Google account automatically gives access to all the dependent services, including Orkut.

Third parties on Orkut

You can integrate several third party applications and web services on Orkut.  According to its privacy policy, Google does not review or endorse any third party apps or sites and it’s up to you to choose whether to authorise the sharing of your information with these apps or websites.

You can quickly review all the sites and apps that are connected to your Google account from the Google Account settings page.  In the Security section of this page, you can control which applications and websites can access and use details from your Google account including from your Orkut account.

Tracking your shared information

On the Google Accounts settings page you can check the list of authorised applications that are connected to your accounts and revoke access as necessary from the Security section.


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