Have you ever wondered to yourself how much information Google has on you?
Being one of the top providers of internet services like Gmail, Google Drive, and Google Hangouts, services that are free to use, a big chunk of Google’s revenue comes from the information it collects from the billions of users it has. This information it gathers is then used for advertisements.
How does that work, you may ask? Well, you may have noticed that when you use Google to search for something, let us say, your search for a restaurant in your area, you will notice that every time you are on Google, there will be restaurant advertisements appearing in every link you click on.
So, should we be worried that Google knows a lot about us?
The trail you live online when you visit Google is tracked using the Google Web History. The Web History works in such a way that it uses your past searches to put together preferable future search results for you. Those results are used by marketers to advertise their goods and services.
If getting those advertisements irritates you, you can visit Google Ad Settings and change your preferences or you can simply choose not to have advertisements whenever you are using Google.
Another site that checks out your search and viewing history is YouTube. It keeps track of all your subscriptions and your searches so that it helps Google know what it is that you like searching. Just go to your Google Dashboard and everything will be laid out to you, which can be a little scary.
If you thought going incognito on Google Chrome would preserve your privacy, you are wrong. You will have to take extreme measures like getting VPNs and Tor network to get some privacy when on Google.
How to Find Out What Google Knows About You
If you would like to know what Google has gathered on you and you want to change that fact and keep yourself safe, check out how to below:
- Information Gathered
As mentioned earlier, Google will gather information according to your search history so that it can send you adverts that fit your preferences. To be able to stop that from happening, you can simply go to http://www.google.com/settings/ads/ to change your settings or opt out.
- Location History
Google collects your location history especially if you are using an Android phone. Imagine if someone had access to that information if they really needed it? To erase that probability you can visit https://maps.google.com/locationhistory to change the settings.
- Erase Entire Google History
If you would not like anyone to see what you have been searching, even that embarrassing search on that itch, you can to https://www.google.com/history/ delete all your searches.
4 Receive a Security Report Monthly
To monitor how secure you have been when using Google, you can have a monthly report sent to you on a monthly basis. To enable that option go to https://www.google.com/settings/dashboard.
- What Else Accesses Your Information?
There are other devices and apps that access your information via Google. To stop that from happening, you can go to https://security.google.com/settings/security/permissions to deny those apps and extensions permission to use your information.
It is scary how much Google has on a person. It shockingly has information that is undeniably complete, one cannot contest it. As usual, Google’s defense is that it does not use that information for anything else other than giving you advertisements.
To protect yourself, it is advisable to educate yourself on how you can privatize your Google account. Many people do not know that their privacy is being invaded, harmless as it may seem.
Do what you can to at least not make it easy for hostile access to your information. Visit the Google Dashboard or follow the links above to make some adjustments and protect yourself.